Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present

Author(s): Brendan Simms

History

Half a millennium of European warfare brilliantly retold by masterly historian Brendan Simms. At the heart of Europe's history lies a puzzle. In most of the world humankind has created enormous political frameworks, whether ancient (such as China) or modern (such as the United States). Sprawling empires, kingdoms or republics appear to be the norm. By contrast Europe has remained stubbornly chaotic and fractured into often amazingly tiny pieces, with each serious attempt to unify the continent (by Charles V, Napoleon and Hitler) thwarted. In this marvelously ambitious and exciting new book, Brendan Simms tells the story of Europe's constantly shifting geopolitics and the peculiar circumstances that have made it both so impossible to dominate, but also so dynamic and ferocious. It is the story of a group of highly competitive and mutually suspicious dynasties, but also of a continent uniquely prone to interference from 'semi-detached' elements, such as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain and (just as centrally to Simms' argument) the United States. Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy will become the standard work on this crucial subject - and an extremely enjoyable one.
Reviews: "This is a brilliant and beautifully written history. From the Holy Roman Empire to the Euro, Brendan Simms shows that one of the constant preoccupations of Europeans has always been the geography, the power and the needs of Germany. Europe is a work of extraordinary scholarship delivered with the lightest of touches. It will be essential, absorbing reading for anyone trying to understand both the past and the present of one of the most productive and most dangerous continents on earth". (William Shawcross). "World history is German history, and German history is world history. This is the powerful case made by this gifted historian of Europe, whose expansive erudition revives the proud tradition of the history of geopolitics, and whose immanent moral sensibility reminds us that human choices made in Berlin (and London) today about the future of Europe might be decisive for the future of the world". (Timothy Snyder (author of Bloodlands)). About the author: Brendan Simms is Professor of the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge.
His major books include Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize) and Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire.

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This is a brilliant and beautifully written history. From the Holy Roman Empire to the Euro, Brendan Simms shows that one of the constant preoccupations of Europeans has always been the geography, the power and the needs of Germany. Europe is a work of extraordinary scholarship delivered with the lightest of touches. It will be essential, absorbing reading for anyone trying to understand both the past and the present of one of the most productive and most dangerous continents on earth -- William Shawcross Europe is a superb, sure-footed analysis of how this center of world civilization, technology, and warfare evolved since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It is unabashedly political history, and the better for being so. Simms's acumen and sharp opinions are a joy to read. This book will be appreciated both by the general reader, and by history teachers everywhere -- Paul Kennedy World history is German history, and German history is world history. This is the powerful case made by this gifted historian of Europe, whose expansive erudition revives the proud tradition of the history of geopolitics, and whose immanent moral sensibility reminds us that human choices made in Berlin (and London) today about the future of Europe might be decisive for the future of the world -- Timothy Snyder (Author Of Bloodlands) European history comes in many guises, but Brendan Simms's strategic and geopolitical approach provides a strong and lucid framework within which everything else fits into place. His emphasis on the centrality of Germany offsets more western-orientated accounts while also giving due prominence to Eastern Europe. Covering the whole of the modern period, this book is more than an excellent introduction; it's a major interpretational achievement -- Norman Davies Brendan Simms is a historian of unusual range and ability ... this book is driven by two great master-ideas, and there is hardly a page in it where their presence is not felt ... the reader always has the exhilarating sense of moving swiftly onwards, in a kind of turbocharged Rolls-Royce of historical argumentation ... truly powerful and original -- Noel Malcolm Telegraph

Brendan Simms is Professor of the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge. His major books include Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize) and Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire.

General Fields

  • : 9780713994278
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Allen Lane
  • : April 2013
  • : 240mm X 162mm X 46mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : June 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Brendan Simms
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 940.2
  • : 720
  • : maps throughout