The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914

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An Economist Best Book of the Year

“Sweeping . . . an ambitious synthesis . . . [Evans] writes with admirable narrative power and possesses a wonderful eye for local color . . . Fascinating.”—Stephen Schuker, The Wall Street Journal

From the bestselling author of The Third Reich at War, a masterly account of Europe in the age of its global hegemony; the latest volume in the Penguin History of Europe series

Richard J. Evans, bestselling historian of Nazi Germany, returns with a monumental new addition to the acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series, covering the period from the fall of Napoleon to the outbreak of World War I. Evans’s gripping narrative ranges across a century of social and national conflicts, from the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 to the unification of both Germany and Italy, from the Russo-Turkish wars to the Balkan upheavals that brought this era of relative peace and growing prosperity to an end. Among the great themes it discusses are the decline of religious belief and the rise of secular science and medicine, the journey of art, music, and literature from Romanticism to Modernism, the replacement of old-regime punishments by the modern prison, the end of aristocratic domination and the emergence of industrial society, and the dramatic struggle of feminists for women’s equality and emancipation. Uniting the era’s broad-ranging transformations was the pursuit of power in all segments of life, from the banker striving for economic power to the serf seeking to escape the power of his landlord, from the engineer asserting society’s power over the environment to the psychiatrist attempting to exert science’s power over human nature itself.
      The first single-volume history of the century, this comprehensive and sweeping account gives the reader a magnificently human picture of Europe in the age when it dominated the rest of the globe.
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About the author

Richard J. Evans was born in London and educated at Oxford University. He has taught at Columbia University and Birkbeck, University of London, and since 2014 has been the Regius Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cambridge. His many publications include an acclaimed three-volume history of the Third Reich and a recent collection of essays, The Third Reich in History and Memory. A Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, he is a past winner of the Wolfson History Prize, and was twice a History Honoree at the Los Angeles Times Book Awards. In 2012 he was appointed Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List, for services to scholarship.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Nov 29, 2016
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Pages
848
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ISBN
9780735221215
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Modern / 19th Century
Political Science / World / European
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the seventy years since the demise of the Third Reich, there has been a significant transformation in the ways in which the modern world understands Nazism. In this brilliant and eye-opening collection, Richard J. Evans, the acclaimed author of the Third Reich trilogy, offers a critical commentary on that transformation, exploring how major changes in perspective have informed research and writing on the Third Reich in recent years. Drawing on his most notable writings from the last two decades, Evans reveals the shifting perspectives on Nazism's rise to political power, its economic intricacies, and its subterranean extension into postwar Germany. Evans considers how the Third Reich is increasingly viewed in a broader international context, as part of the age of imperialism; discusses the growing emphasis on the larger economic and cultural circumstances of the era; and emphasizes the development of research into Nazi society, particularly in the understanding of Nazi Germany as a political system based on popular approval and consent. Exploring the complex relationship between memory and history, Evans also points out the places where the growing need to confront the misdeeds of Nazism and expose the complicity of those who participated has led to crude and sweeping condemnation, when instead historians should be making careful distinctions. Written with Evans' sharp-eyed insight and characteristically compelling style, these essays offer a summation of the collective cultural memory of Nazism in the present, and suggest the degree to which memory must be subjected to the close scrutiny of history.
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