A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century

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9780349112695: A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century

The problem with the history of twentieth-century Europe is that everyone thinks they know it. The great stories of the century - the two world wars, the rise and fall of Nazism and communism, female emancipation - seem self-evidently important. But behind the grand narratives, the politics and the ideologies, lies another history: the history of forces that shaped the lives of individual Europeans. That is the thrust of Richard Vinen's magisterial survey of this uniquely destructive and creative century. It argues that there is no single history that encompasses the experience of all Europeans, but rather a multiplicity of different, partially interlocking, histories. Some of these histories are told here in a book which seeks to root the generalisations of large-scale analysis in the concrete - and sometimes incongruous - details of individual lives. Challenging, informing and revealing, this is history writing at its finest.

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Review:

A History in Fragments captures the sweep of an extraordinary century. Richard Vinen, a popular young London lecturer, traces Europe's tumultuous evolution from imperialism to democracy and cyberspace, "the new frontier." Rather than taking a political, cultural, or economic approach, Vinen combines all in a highly intelligent tour de force. He argues that the key to understanding 20th-century Europe is in its diversity, hence the book's title. Yet this does not do justice to the seamless way he ties together such overarching themes as the rise and fall of communism, the crumbling of social traditions, and total war. His command of vast quantities of material is awe- inspiring; his well-chosen anecdotes lively and right on the mark; his analyses pithy and easy to understand. For example, a simple comparison of the words "internationalism" as used by the communist camp and "globalization" as used by capitalists speaks volumes about the world view of the two ideologies. One of the book's many virtues is a refreshing objectivity. Conscious of his own prejudices as a middle-class British historian born in the 1960s, Vinen takes pains to see events from the viewpoints of those involved. A rather awkward section tucked before a chapter on post-war Europe presents striking photos and a short essay on the use and manipulation of images in the 20th century. Instead of a list of histories and biographies, the bibliography includes useful short critiques of reference material. A History in Fragments inspires both optimism and cynicism in the reader but never boredom. This is drama on the grandest scale and history-telling at its best. --John Stevenson

About the Author:

Richard Vinen is a lecturer in history at King's College, London.

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Richard Vinen
Editore: Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2002)
ISBN 10: 034911269X ISBN 13: 9780349112695
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Descrizione libro Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The problem with the history of twentieth-century Europe is that everyone thinks they know it. The great stories of the century - the two world wars, the rise and fall of Nazism and communism, female emancipation - seem self-evidently important. But behind the grand narratives, the politics and the ideologies, lies another history: the history of forces that shaped the lives of individual Europeans. That is the thrust of Richard Vinen s magisterial survey of this uniquely destructive and creative century. It argues that there is no single history that encompasses the experience of all Europeans, but rather a multiplicity of different, partially interlocking, histories. Some of these histories are told here in a book which seeks to root the generalisations of large-scale analysis in the concrete - and sometimes incongruous - details of individual lives. Challenging, informing and revealing, this is history writing at its finest. Codice libro della libreria AA29780349112695

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Richard Vinen
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Descrizione libro Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The problem with the history of twentieth-century Europe is that everyone thinks they know it. The great stories of the century - the two world wars, the rise and fall of Nazism and communism, female emancipation - seem self-evidently important. But behind the grand narratives, the politics and the ideologies, lies another history: the history of forces that shaped the lives of individual Europeans. That is the thrust of Richard Vinen s magisterial survey of this uniquely destructive and creative century. It argues that there is no single history that encompasses the experience of all Europeans, but rather a multiplicity of different, partially interlocking, histories. Some of these histories are told here in a book which seeks to root the generalisations of large-scale analysis in the concrete - and sometimes incongruous - details of individual lives. Challenging, informing and revealing, this is history writing at its finest. Codice libro della libreria AA29780349112695

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Descrizione libro Abacus, 2002. Condizione libro: New. * A significant contribution to our understanding of how politics affects real people, and a brilliant blend of sweeping narrative and detailed analysis: this is a major and potentially prize-winning work Num Pages: 736 pages, Integrated: 17, 17pp b/w int. BIC Classification: 1D; 3JJ; HBJD1; HBLW. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 126 x 49. Weight in Grams: 500. . 2002. Paperback. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780349112695

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Descrizione libro Abacus. Condizione libro: New. * A significant contribution to our understanding of how politics affects real people, and a brilliant blend of sweeping narrative and detailed analysis: this is a major and potentially prize-winning work Num Pages: 736 pages, Integrated: 17, 17pp b/w int. BIC Classification: 1D; 3JJ; HBJD1; HBLW. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 126 x 49. Weight in Grams: 500. . 2002. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780349112695

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Descrizione libro Little, Brown Book Group. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century, Richard Vinen, The problem with the history of twentieth-century Europe is that everyone thinks they know it. The great stories of the century - the two world wars, the rise and fall of Nazism and communism, female emancipation - seem self-evidently important. But behind the grand narratives, the politics and the ideologies, lies another history: the history of forces that shaped the lives of individual Europeans. That is the thrust of Richard Vinen's magisterial survey of this uniquely destructive and creative century. It argues that there is no single history that encompasses the experience of all Europeans, but rather a multiplicity of different, partially interlocking, histories. Some of these histories are told here in a book which seeks to root the generalisations of large-scale analysis in the concrete - and sometimes incongruous - details of individual lives. Challenging, informing and revealing, this is history writing at its finest. Codice libro della libreria B9780349112695

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