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Publisher's Summary

The ominous forces of militarism, nationalism, and secret alliances were finally set loose by the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. As the Central Powers of Austria-Hungary and Germany move to quickly bring the issue to a speedy climax, the wheels begin to come off. Instead of quick victory, a devastating stalemate ensued. Tens of millions died in the wretched trenches of Europe and by the time the Versailles Treaty was signed in 1919, weary Europeans were startled to see the rise of a Russian government so radical, it instantly became a pariah. Disillusionment with the Versailles Treaty became widespread among both victor and vanquished. As France pressed the Germans for reparations, the Germans dug in their heels. With each new perceived humiliation, the German population began to nurse a hatred that was easily fanned by demagogues. When the economic recovery of the 20s was derailed by the worldwide Great Depression, the door was flung open for the entry into history of the demonic force of Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party. In the Soviet Union, the communists under Stalin began implementing five-year plans of unprecedented scope. Millions died futiley followed by a savage Stalinist purge amid spectacular show trials. Yet Russia doggedly forged ahead. In the west, the democracies seemed powerless to stop Hitler until it was too late and war came to them unprepared. The French fell to Nazi armies, and Britain, with Churchill leading, stood alone. As the suspense heightens, Hitler suddenly launches an attack on the Soviet Union. In a titanic paroxysm of violence and death, the second world war comes to an end under a pall of destruction and despair never before known. Out of this desolation has emerged the New Europe we know today. From our present vantage point, the recovery has been no less than miraculous.
© and (P)2007 Audio Connoisseur
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Yafim on 07-22-09

Interesting, but full of mistakes

Although the book is interesting to listen to, it is full of mistakes and inaccuracies. Just a few I have caught:
1) Lenin's first name is "Vladimir", not "Nicolas";
2) Karl Marx indeed was born into a Jewish family, but "Jewish Protestant family"??? What exactly is this??
3) Radiation of atoms due to electron moving between energy states is NOT radioactivity!!

And there are more.

May be good for someone who already knows some stuff, and may want to connect the points. Otherwise - find some more reliable source.

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5 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By A. on 02-25-17

When was this written?

Good luck figuring out when these volumes were written. As a history of Europe this is a fairly good overview, but it is tinged with the prejudices of the age in which the authors wrote it. Some statements jar a little on the ears of a 21st century listener and not just because the narrator is truly awful. It would help to know in which era the historian lived to sort out why something might sound wrong, biased, or outdated. Nowhere in the entry for this product does the date of publication appear. A search on the internet turned up a 1947 copyright, and the author apparently died in 1959. There is no evidence of updated editions, yet the final chapter contains references to the end of the Cold War and other late 20th century events. Students of history need to know the basic details of publication to decide whether to buy this product or not so if you are that serious about understanding the facts, be aware.

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