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Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017

Ian Kershaw

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Penguin
19 November 2019
History; European history; 21st century history: from c 2000 -; Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000
After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the 20th century, described by Ian Kershaw in his previous book as having gone 'to Hell and back', the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative prosperity to most of Europe. Enormous economic improvements transformed the continent. The catastrophic era of the world wars receded into an ever more distant past, though its long shadow continued to shape mentalities.

Europe was now a divided continent, living under the nuclear threat in a period intermittently fraught with anxiety. Europeans experienced a 'roller-coaster ride', both in the sense that they were flung through a series of events which threatened disaster, but also in that they were no longer in charge of their own destinies- for much of the period the USA and USSR effectively reduced Europeans to helpless figures whose fates were dictated to them depending on the vagaries of the Cold War. There were, by most definitions, striking successes - the Soviet bloc melted away, dictatorships vanished and Germany was successfully reunited. But accelerating globalization brought new fragilities. The impact of interlocking crises after 2008 was the clearest warning to Europeans that there was no guarantee of peace and stability.

In this remarkable book, Ian Kershaw has created a grand panorama of the world we live in and where it came from. Drawing on examples from all across Europe, Roller-Coaster will make us all rethink Europe and what it means to be European.
By:   Ian Kershaw
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   528g
ISBN:   9780141980447
ISBN 10:   0141980443
Pages:   704
Publication Date:   19 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sir Ian Kershaw is one of the UK's most distinguished historians. His most famous books include Hitler, Fateful Choices and The End. The first volume in his history of modern Europe, To Hell and Back, was described by the Observer as 'superb . . . likely to become and classic' and by Harold Evans in the New York Times as 'chilling epic-size history . . . should be required reading'. He lives in Manchester.

Reviews for Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017

A formidable historian of detail * Telegraph * In synthesizing and evaluating an enormous body of scholarship, not only on Europe, East and West, but also on the wider world and the globalisation processes that have so deeply affected European history, Ian Kershaw has produced a historical masterpiece. * Times Literary Supplement * A supreme achievement, wearing its immense learning lightly and written with page-turning energy * Literary Review * This is a remarkable pan-European survey, and one can only admire the vast range of scholarship lightly worn -- Robert Tombs * The Times * An expert and meticulous look at the events that shaped the continent... it should have a prominent place on the shelf of anybody, professional or layperson, who wants to make sense of present-day Europe -- Josef Joffe * Financial Times *


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