The Global Age: Europe 1950–2017

Ian Kershaw. Viking, $35 (656p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2398-1
In this brilliant sequel to his history of earlier-20th-century Europe (To Hell and Back), historian Kershaw profiles a Europe that has emerged into the 21st century calmer and more prosperous than in the century before, though with an uncertain future. He relates in detail at least five key stories: Western Europe’s remarkable postwar economic recovery; the division into NATO and Soviet satellite states; the slow but steady move toward economic integration and the European Union; the fall of the communist satellite states and then the U.S.S.R.; and the early-21st-century economic, migration, and Brexit-related crises. The work’s strengths include its evocation of changes in mentalities and economic conditions (recalling that in 1950, racism was strong, homosexuality and abortion were outlawed in many places, dwellings were “often lacking hot water, or indoor toilet facilities,” and “food was still widely rationed”); its keen understanding of economic history (for example, the postrecession politics of austerity); and avoiding neglect of more minor players, such as the Netherlands and Turkey. Writing a 67-year history of a continent with more than 40 countries is a monumental task, and Kershaw has done so with unflagging narrative drive and fine prose. Agent: Sarah Scarlett, Nancy Yost Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/19/2019
Release date: 04/30/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-7352-2399-8
Paperback - 704 pages - 978-0-7352-2400-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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