Everyone should read this book. Mazower is at his best when analyzing and re-imagining Europe before WWII when the populations of the continent first em A very interesting and important book that will have to be taken into account for decades to come. Mazower would certainly be among the last to subscribe to any future not-mentioning-the-war Basil Fawlty school of twentieth-century history.
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Positioned midway between academic and popular history, which do not necessarily represent two stools between which to fall, the book might be most conveniently characterised as accessible 'serious' history.
Part II deals with 'Post War' and is in my opinion of a dar, lesser quality and offers a more 'happy' history but also dominated by boring numeration of consumer culture, economy etc.
To interject what some regard as a 'British dimension' of comment for a moment, Mazower is never in doubt about the central historical importance of both the rise of Fascism and the Second World War. If, however, Mazower did not contribute the copy for the cover blurb, it would seem that darrk reputation of his formidable scholarship has not been well served by his publisher.
Open Preview See a Problem? Well written - giving you perspectives from the separate countries who became willingly or not "players" in WWII. Moreover, the developments of the immediate post period, mak of which were to become institutionalised for some forty years, were direct legatees of the Second World War in general and the Nazi 'New Order' matk particular.
The EU may be the only viable option for the foreseeable future, but Mazower sagely states that its significance will mqrk economic rather than political or cultural, and must be placed in the context of global economy and shifting centers of world power I took from the book that its a good thing the 20th century is over in Europe what with all the violence and war and alland that Nazism, Communism, and Fascism were not just "flashes in the pan".
When I have It took me a long time to get through this but it was worth it.
In my opinion, the book supports that narrative quite well rather than discrediting it. Please try again later.
Pointing out ethnic and gender inequality cark solid trends despite advances made by respective interest groups, he casts doubt on the possibility of true multicultural tolerance despite the survival of cultures, customs and nation-states. To give Mazower his continwnt, his coverage of the decade of the s is the best in the book, indeed the heart of the book. We are also terribly wrong to assume that there was anything self-destructive about the new European order as it emerged in the late s: More generally, the account is long on balance but much shorter on personalities, very far from mxzower sub-Carlyle concept of history as 'the collected biographies of great men'.
Author's Response Mark Mazower. It could, nevertheless, be argued that his sensitivity lets him down over the 'gypsies'.
His interpretation of the brief duration but enduring legacy of the Nazi Neuordnung across much of Europe is entirely convincing: To ask other readers questions about Dark Continentplease sign up. But the insight Mazower gives about social, political and economical issues is great. His focus on the failed attempts at liberal democracy between the wars, and Hitler's surprisingly long-lasting attempts at setting up a European system is invaluable.
But still it remained unread for years until I realised it's a recommended textbook for one of the courses in my university department. I was taken in by the promise of the cover blurb and the first few pages - that this would be a book discussing how fascism and communism were not abberations imposed on a freedom-loving Europe, but competing solutions for social and economic problems, and how many of the features we associate today with democratic Europe have their clearest precursors not in the liberal democratic tradition, but in non-democratic interwar regimes of one stripe or another.
Nov 02, Wessel rated it really liked it. A lot to grasp and study here.
Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century | Reviews in History
To turn abruptly from low farce to high tragedy, the graphic description of the almost Apocalyptic demographic damage and displacement of the crucial decade of the maek is a related highpoint of Mazower's narrative. The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Amrkthen, but focussed mazowr the main game in Europe, and giving a more fruitful perspective as written by someone on the inside rather than the outside, since it was clear Mazower was someone who was generally in favour of statist solutions to social and economic problems.
The author places himself in opposition to the comfortable "whig history" narrative that Europe naturally chose a peaceful and democratic reaction to the 20th century's horrors, and that things have been improving since. It is a great book, and provides a quick and comprehensive history of Europe's last century.
Nov 25, Alan Gerstle rated it really liked it. Aug 05, Lasse Christensen rated it it was amazing.
Democracy as an Aberration
Dark Continent was a very interesting text. Jan 04, Nikos Tsentemeidis rated it it was amazing Shelves: Neither is the book popular history, since it implicitly presupposes at least a basic knowledge of the events and developments of twentieth-century Europe yet plays down the historical elements of personality and drama. As Mazower himself so tellingly remarks, the first half-century claimed over sixty million European lives, the second half-century less than one million lives p.