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The European catastrophe, the long, continuous period from 1914 to1949, was unprecedented in human history - an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation. This new volume in the Penguin History of Europe series offers comprehensive coverage of this tumultuous era. Beginning with the outbreak of World War I through the rise of Hitler and the aftermath of the Second World War, award-winning British historian Ian Kershaw combines his characteristic original scholarship and gripping prose as he profiles the key decision makers and the violent shocks of war as they affected the entire European continent and radically altered the course of European history. Kershaw identifies four major causes for this catastrophe: an explosion of ethnic-racist nationalism, bitter and irreconcilable demands for territorial revisionism, acute class conflict given concrete focus through the Bolshevik Revolution, and a protracted crisis of capitalism.
Incisive, brilliantly written, and filled with penetrating insights, To Hell and Back offers an indispensable study of a period in European history whose effects are still being felt today.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By M. MCCASKEY on 01-19-16
Very good, well-educated reader/narrator.
What did you love best about To Hell and Back?
Lots of information, intelligent narration. All books by Kershaw I've read so far are well-researched and highly informative. I have heard Kershaw lecture in both English and German. He is a great historian, and could have been a great narrator as well, had he chosen to narrate in this case.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Not applicable in a book with so many historical personages.
Which character – as performed by John Curless – was your favorite?
Not applicable to a large-scale factual historical study, I think.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Learned more about how high-placed Europeans did self-destructive things, then as now.
Any additional comments?
Looking forward to the next volume.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
By CS Lewis on 04-21-16
Perfect. eye opening.
I have read and studied this time period for decades, but I've always looked at each issue or incident in isolation. it's quite eye opening to "read" the history of this time period as a single narrative. it definitely adds a new perspective.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful