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Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by…

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005)

by Tony Judt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,173294,589 (4.36)45
The first truly European history of contemporary Europe, from Lisbon to Leningrad, based on research in six languages, covering 34 countries across 60 years, using a great deal of material from newly available sources. The book integrates international relations, domestic politics, ideas, social change, economic development, and culture--high and low--into a single grand narrative. Every country has its chance to play the lead, and although the big themes are handled--including the cold war, the love/hate relationship with America, cultural and economic malaise and rebirth, and the myth and reality of unification--none of them is allowed to overshadow the rich pageant that is the whole.--From publisher description.… (more)
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» See also 45 mentions

English (26)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
This 900 page book is a great achievment. Tony Judt writes best on the countries he knows best: France, Britain and Czechoslovakia. The recurring theme is the communist takeover of eastern Europe came about and how left wing politicians and intellectuals debated how to find a middle ground between the US and Soviet models of society. ( )
  haraldgroven | Sep 8, 2019 |
A sublime samizdat selection. This stretched across our collecitve interests and strove to shake us from lazy preconceptions. This was an amazing analysis. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
It is hard for words to do justice to the magisterial, comprehensive, insightful, and penetratingly insightful narrative of European history from 1945 to 2005 contained in this work.

It's a long book, full of detail, but yet highly readable. The author does well at contextualizing the history of Europe at that time in light of what had come before. The whole of Europe throughout this whole period is discussed.

The opening section on the immediate postwar events is extremely illuminating in order to understand all that happened since. It's hard to resist the author's conclusion that European peace was secured because the people were made to fit the borders (since there was mutually agreed upon ethnic cleansing, forcing minority groups to move across central and eastern Europe) after making borders around different people had failed (the attempted solution of 1919); this seems all the more prescient in light of the events of the past decade which have only reinforced the thesis.

The postwar boom period is also well contextualized, and again, recent events probably reinforce the thesis that it was a one-time flourishing in order to return to the level of wealth and status which existed before the 40 years of war and unrest.

The collapse of Communism is well detailed. Discussions of life after Communism in both West and East were fruitful, as was the emphasis on the European project. One acutely feels the loss of the author: one wishes to hear what he would have to say about how the European project has fared with the economic crash and the resurgence of nationalism of late.

The epilogue is an absolute must read, using the way the Holocaust was or wasn't remembered in Europe in different countries at different times as a way of discussing the difficulties of remembering and forgetting, and the times in which it is necessary to do either or both. We Americans can profit from that kind of exploration in light of our own heritage and how we remember and forget it.

An extremely valuable read. ( )
  deusvitae | Sep 26, 2018 |
Amazing book. Read it. ( )
  NickDomino | May 20, 2018 |
This is a masterpiece in historical synthesis. There is a lot of information in this book. One thing that really stood out for me was how Stalin resettled millions of people in post-World War 2 East Europe. This reconciled nationalities with new post-war borders. Judt chronicles the immediate cost of these forced moves as Poles moved west into the new Poland as Germans were forced west into East Germany, but also the long term implications of this mass migration. ( )
  gregdehler | Aug 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (2005). Judt’s epic history of postwar Europe reviews the political, social, and economic forces that shaped the continent’s evolution in the aftermath of World War II. The distinctive feature of Postwar is that it tells the story on both sides of the Iron Curtain, highlighting how Europe was caught between two superpowers. Postwar was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and received CFR’s Arthur Ross Book Award in 2006.

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judt, TonyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cuéllar, JesúsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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