Books on the History of Europe

castle in Europe

May 16, 2022

940. Books on the history of Europe

Further Reading:

Scott Anderson Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 2013.

Scott Anderson shares how four men, Curt Prűfer of Germany, Zionist Aaron Aarohshon, American William Yale, and T.E. Lawrence of Britain, carried on separate, sometimes clandestine agendas in the early 20th century Middle East. During the years surrounding World War I, they achieved conflicting ends that have had global repercussions ever since.

Jacques Barzun From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life; 1500 to the Present, 2001.

Historian Jacques Barzun shares a continuous narrative of the past 500 years of Western civilization. He concludes that it’s declining, but not bound for extinction.

Jeremy Black A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps, 2020.

Military and cartographic historian Jeremy Black looks at maps used in World War II that influenced decision-making and outcomes at all levels. The book has full-color illustrations of 100 of the most important maps to provide a unique view of the war from the ground, water, and skies.

Will and Ariel Durant The Story of Civilization: Rousseau and the Revolution, vol. 10, 1967.

In Volume 10 of their sweeping Story of Civilization, the Durants turn their attention to the 18th century. They say the entire era was the hinge on which history began its pivot to modern times. They share revolutions, intellectual, moral, social, scientific, and political, and reveal the ways the fallout of each affected their 20th-century readers.

Max Hastings Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War, 2013.

British journalist and historian Max Hastings provides a new look at the causes of World War I and its effects on people in every segment of society. He accesses where to place blame, but he also maintains the war was necessary to keep Europe free.

David Howarth Trafalgar: The Nelson Touch, 1969.

With the battle of Trafalgar, Napoleon’s threat to England was ended. British historian David Howarth details the day of the battle and how it ended with the death of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Eric Larson Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, 2015.

Best-selling author Eric Larson tells the story of the luxury ocean liner, the Lusitania, and its final voyage at sea. It sailed in spite of the German U-boats stalking the waters because it was believed civilian ships would not be attacked. He covers thrilling events that lead up to the disaster from many viewpoints and angles.

Margaret MacMillan Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, 2001.

The decisions made at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 had unforeseen consequences still haunting the world today. Historian Margaret MacMillan shares the meetings between Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, John Maynard Keynes, T.E. Lawrence, and even Ho Chi Minh, a kitchen assistant, who petitioned for Vietnamese independence. While their efforts at global peace failed, MacMillan argues they are not responsible for the mistakes made later.

Michael Norman Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath, 2009.

The largest defeat in U.S. military history was in 1942 when 76,000 Americans and Filipinos surrendered to the Japanese army in Bataan. From then until August 1945, they endured captivity, starvation, and torture. Michael Norman tells the story by following Ben Steele who had joined the army to see the world. The story revealed is more complex than good versus evil.

Anthony Pagden The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters, 2013.

We know the eighteenth-century Enlightenment was a time when intellect and reason flourished. Science began its ascent over religion and social norms began to change. But is that all it was? Anthony Pagden looks at important Enlightenment figures to determine what the movement ultimately offered the modern world and why we should appreciate the ideas it brought us.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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