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Although I am an avid student and reader of history, I must admit that my knowledge of European history during the 19th century is somewhat sketchy- especially when it comes to the details leading up to the revolutions of 1848. This book was excellent at explaining those details. The authors start out with a detailed description of the catylist for the change in Europe during this time period- the industrial revolution- and they move forward covering critical events all the way up to the declaration of the German Empire at Versailles in 1871. Chapter 1 focuses in great detail on the industrial revolution and at times I found the description to be almost too tedious (I decided after a while to skip over this part)- but for those who are intently interested in the actual mechanics of the industrial revolution, it is quite good. The subsequent chapters focus on the changes between 1815 and 1870 on a country by country basis- starting with France, working through Austria, Prussia, the German Confedreation, Spain, Italy and finally Russia. The analysis is quite detailed and excellent. Great historical names of the past such as Metternich, Bismarck, Mazzini, Louis Napoleon, and Cavour together with their contributions are all woven into the fabric of the volume. The narrator does a very good job with his narration as well. I enjoyed the volume enough to purchase the second volume as well. In conclusion, I would recommend the volume to anyone who wishes to acquire better knowledge and understanding about Europe during the period
33 of 34 people found this review helpful
Garret and Godfrey must be congratulated for a truly amazing work. The level of detail and the style of writing is not comparable to anything that I have ever read. Those who would comment on western civilization must read this book first.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I suppose, as Abraham Lincoln once remarked, 'people who like this sort of thing, will find this the sort of thing they like'. It does what it says on the cover; gives a fairly dispassionate history of Europe in three volumes. The narration is somewhat ponderous, presumably to give it gravitas and some of the pronunciation is quirky: A well known French dynasty becomes a fine American whiskey for instance. The speed of delivery can be rectified by setting your ipod to 1.5x speed, which gives you a lively gallop through Europe's past.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful