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Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present (Anglais) Relié – 30 avril 2013

5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Description du produit

Revue de presse

BBC History Magazine
“Brilliantly successful….Simms has the breadth of knowledge and clarity of vision to make his case compelling. His book is also immensely entertaining as well as instructive. There are few pages not enlivened by sharp insight, telling vignette or memorable turn of phrase. In short, this is a great book and everyone interested in European history will want to read it.”

The Washington Times
“[A] sweeping, intelligent and enormously ambitious book.”

Paul Kennedy, J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, Yale University, and author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
Europe is a superb, sure-footed analysis of how this center of world civilization, technology, and warfare evolved since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It is unabashedly political history, and the better for being so. Simms's acumen and sharp opinions are a joy to read. This book will be appreciated both by the general reader and by history teachers everywhere.”

Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands
“World history is German history, and German history is world history.
This is the powerful case made by this gifted historian of Europe, whose expansive erudition revives the proud tradition of the history of geopolitics, and whose immanent moral sensibility reminds us that human choices made in Berlin (and London) today about the future of Europe might be decisive for the future of the world.”

Norman Davies, St. Antony's College, Oxford and Jagiellonian University, Krakow
“European history comes in many guises, but Brendan Simms's strategic and geopolitical approach provides a strong and lucid framework within which everything else fits into place. His emphasis on the centrality of Germany offsets more western-orientated accounts while also giving due prominence to Eastern Europe. Covering the whole of the modern period, this book is more than an excellent introduction; it's a major interpretational achievement.”

Wall Street Journal
“Prodigious….If postmodern scholarship has Ranke spinning in his grave, Mr. Simms's book will give his weary soul some rest…. This is the history of Richelieu, Metternich and Kissinger, not of Luther, Newton and Beethoven. Such a summary may sound arid, but Europe is anything but. In fact, it draws the reader forward with its grand epic of shifting alliances, clashing armies and ambitious statecraft. Simms is a skilled writer with a rare gift for compressed analysis. His focus on the military and diplomatic arc of European history lends his book a strong narrative line and thematic coherence. Patterns emerge that might have remained buried in a more various survey.”

Economist, Favorite Book of the Year
“An original take on Europe's history that shows that German power was a concern long before the country formally came into being in the late 19th century, and perhaps as far back as the mid-1400s. A compelling and provocative thesis that has lessons for politicians today.”

The Economist
“Brendan Simms's new history [is] especially timely. He has, in effect, dropped a big stone into the European pond and stood back to watch the ripples spread…. It is a compelling and provocative thesis…. This is sweeping history, told with verve and panache, and it is all the more refreshing for that.”

Financial Times
Europe is a stimulating, impressive history that starts with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and extends to the present day….An excellent read and its insights into the grand themes of European history are penetrating and lucidly argued.”

The Telegraph
"Brendan Simms is a historian of unusual range and ability.... His new book is nothing less than a history of Europe over the past 550 years.... Writing such a book is a colossally demanding task – the sort of challenge most sane historians would baulk at, unless they had a very clear idea of what they wanted to say. Luckily, knowing what he wants to say is one of Simms's strengths. For this book is driven by two great master-ideas, and there is hardly a page in it where their presence is not felt. So, no matter how dense the details may be of kings, wars, treaties and governments, the reader always has the exhilarating sense of moving swiftly onwards.... Like all truly powerful and original works, this is a book worth disagreeing with. But above all it is a book worth reading."

The New Statesman
"[An] unrepentantly old-fashioned, lively and erudite history of Europe since 1453.... Ambitious in scope... Simms knows what he is talking about."

The Weekly Standard
"Sweeping and provocative."

Présentation de l'éditeur

If there is a fundamental truth of geopolitics, it is this: whoever controls the core of Europe controls the entire continent, and whoever controls all of Europe can dominate the world. Over the past five centuries, a rotating cast of kings and conquerors, presidents and dictators have set their sights on the European heartland, desperate to seize this pivotal area or at least prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. From Charles V and Napoleon to Bismarck and Cromwell, from Hitler and Stalin to Roosevelt and Gorbachev, nearly all the key power players of modern history have staked their titanic visions on this vital swath of land.

In Europe, prizewinning historian Brendan Simms presents an authoritative account of the past half-millennium of European history, demonstrating how the battle for mastery there has shaped the modern world. Beginning in 1453, when the collapse of the Byzantine Empire laid Europe open to Ottoman incursion and prompted the dramatic expansion of the Holy Roman Empire, Simms leads readers through the epic struggle for the heart of Europe. Stretching from the Low Countries through Germany and into the North Italian plain, this relatively compact zone has historically been the richest and most productive on earth. For hundreds of years, its crucial strategic importance stoked a seemingly unending series of conflicts, from the English Civil War to the French Revolution to the appalling world wars of the 20th century. But when Europe is in harmony, Simms shows, the entire world benefits—a lesson that current leaders would do well to remember.

A bold and compelling work by a renowned scholar, Europe integrates religion, politics, military strategy, and international relations to show how history—and Western civilization itself—was forged in the crucible of Europe.

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Format: Relié Achat vérifié
A very good book which I enjoy reading.
I find it stupid to require a minimum amount of words from your customers: Stuppid stupid
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5 86 commentaires
97 internautes sur 102 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A useful, if thesis-ridden, history of modern Europe. 23 juin 2013
Par k - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Brendan Simms' book is an interpretation of modern European history and its chronological starting point is the fall of Byzantium. His thesis is that the Germans are the fulcrum of world history and that the last five-hundred years of Europe's history revolve around either attempts to create a universal monarchy based in Central Europe or strenuous efforts to prevent such a thing from being coming into being. The book is thus "old-fashioned" history, concerned with dynastic rivalry (the Hapsburgs vs. everyone else, especially) and, later, Great Power shenanigans both in Europe and overseas. There is relatively little cultural or economic history, such as has dominated European historiography for generations, and he does not waste time dealing with "the status of women" or "respect for minorities." This is realpolitik.

Impressive as it is, the book is not a uniform success. Simms has his hobby-horse and rides it relentlessly. Whatever happens, anywhere, happens because of a contest for the European "Heartland." In this regard, the book, well-researched as it is, constitutes a series of footnotes to Halford Mackinder and his historical mega-theories. ("Whoever controls the world-island," etc.) This sort of grand theorizing is pretty moldy today but early in the last century it was regarded as quite profound. (Arnold Toynbee and Oswald Spengler were two other historians of the "Rise and Fall" school, just as Marx was before them and Paul Kennedy and Jared Diamond are today's keepers of the flame.) It all makes for lofty pronouncements and the occasional sententious PBS mini-series and the sort of people who fall for this sort of thing are usually the same ones who insist that the Roman Empire "fell" because the ancient Romans began using lead water-pipes. In other words -- mostly moonshine.

The first third of the book will confuse most people and the final third will bore them. This is not necessarily the author's fault. It is very difficult for even trained, professional historians to clearly understand the Empire. It is nearly hopeless for the "Guns, Germs and Steel" or Will Durant crowd to attempt. They will try to conceive late medieval politics through the nation-state model and so end up utterly baffled. Simms' basic thesis -- that the Empire was the cockpit of European politics -- is potentially sound enough. But, the Empire was such a godawful political and religious ball of yarn and punched so far below its weight that it was repeatedly reduced to somebody else's battlefield.

Simms is strong in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the reader will feel more at home here too. Nation-states have emerged as the actors in world-politics and Bismarck always makes for good copy. The most important event in European history between Waterloo and August 1914 was the creation of the German Empire and Simms gives this series of events full credit.

Simms also does an unusually good job of relating non-European developments to his concentration on mittleuropa. Great power rivalry in North America is nicely tied in with Pitt's overall strategy for containing France in the Empire and the Low Countries. But, none of this is news to historians -- although Simms does yeoman's work in providing a good summary.

The last part of the book is just a recapitulation of headlines during the postwar period. Germany, naturally enough, is the cockpit of the East-West rivalry according to Sims and for the era 1939-1955 he is a darn good guide. Where he falls down is with the post-USSR world in which each paragraph might as well begin, "And then, the next day, this is what happened." Anyone who was alive and conversant with public affairs will find little new in the last fifty or so pages of the book.

But, it is great to read 'history" again -- an account of the doings of the Great Powers and the importance of politics in human affairs. True, we do not learn much about the patriarchy of, say, rural Bulgaria in the nineteenth-century and how it oppressed milk-maids, and we don't hear much about capitalist exploitation of iron and steel workers in the Saar. This book is unabashed in its insistence that politics matters and that great power politics matters most of all. After all the retrospective sociology, masquerading as history, that has inundated us for generations, Simms' book is a fount of useful information and narrative.

Simms has given us a solid and utterly useful tome. If he becomes a bit of a Johnny-One-Note, most of us can probably live with it. He has something important to say and even if we dissent from some of it we all will come away from this book better informed and with some questions to ponder.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Superb Book... But Not For a Newbie! 27 octobre 2016
Par Joe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is an important study of European History from the Fall of Constantinople to modern day.

But, man! Heed this warning! I can't imagine too many people enjoying this book unless they already have a firm foundation in European History to begin with. This is a study of the diplomatic history between European states, and if you have no foundational knowledge of European history, you'll probably find yourself lost in a tangle of wars and alliances that make no sense. This is NOT a book for beginners! If you need a great book on European History that's as big as a cinder block like this one, but more fun to read, then look at books by Norman Davies or Jacques Barzun.

However, if you do know your history and are interested in the nuances of political and diplomatic developments in Europe over the past 550 years, then Brendan Simms' book is magnificent in filling in a lot of gaps. It's a great learning tool. You can read it cover-to-cover for a sweeping historical panorama and connect-the-dots of European history. Or, you can pick it up and read chapters about eras you want to learn more about and neglect the rest, if you so choose.

It's not a page-turner but it is a majestic work of diplomatic history. I will admit that I enjoy the flesh-and-blood stories that make historical figures come to life. The cerebral historian may find my preference a bit camp and low brow. If you are one of these people, you can rest assured that there's absolutely nothing on the love life of any monarch in this book. Simms can write about war after war after war with as much ease as I sip my coffee. The reader will certainly learn all the diplomatic causes and effects of those wars--but next to nil of the human suffering.

This is a book that I needed to read so that I could fill in all those millions of little gaps in my knowledge of European history. It helped immensely.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy 27 novembre 2013
Par J. Lindner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Brendan Simms covers a lot of ground and a lot of history in his book Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy. His title selection is indicative of how much of a struggle it has been for Europeans to come to terms with their challenges. From the Ottoman threat to a string of would-be continental conquerors to modern day economics, every generation of Europeans has faced unique and comelling challenges. At the core of Europe, and hence at the core of these challenges, is Germany. Whther it was a fragmented confederation or a powerful empire, Germany raised the German question of how to develop policy that would address the vital center of Europe.

Simms touches on all of the principal players and all of the key events though some are better analyzed than others. He focuses on the primary wars and treaties then scurries to get to the next big conflagration. In the process he is forced to limit study to the post-war eras that each treaty ushered in. But he presents his material in a way that is gripping and leaves the reader to want more. Thus the most important treaties such as Westphalia (1648), Vienna (1815), Versailles (1919), and Potsdam (1945) receive more attention than Utrecht (1713) or Paris (1763 and 1783). Simms does this to keep his book in a managable single volume.

College history instructors will want to consider this book when setting up curriculuum on general European history. The book is a good introduction. Simms is a solid writer who does not belabor his points yet is critical of the events that lead to the decisions that were made. Each generation had to discover itself to understand its challenges and subsequent responses. This continues today. Angela Merkel and Charles V share certain commonalities whether they want to or not. Each has had the opportunity to lead the most powerful polity in central Europe. The primary difference being that the Germany of 2013 is less likely to be a dominant military threat.

Students of history should appreciate this book for the sheer vastness of its contents. Covering over 500 years of complex history is difficult enough, but to do it in a readable and engrossing fashion is a fine accomplishment. Simms is ready to take his place amongst the leading Euroean scholars of his era.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Poorly argued, repetitive, and with unacceptably many errors 31 décembre 2016
Par Dave - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
As descendant of Sudeten Germans who lives in Central Europe and for whom Central European history is an avocation, I was intrigued by the author’s thesis about the centrality of Germany to (world) history for the 560 years from the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans until the book’s publication. I have read literally dozens of books about Central Europe and was looking forward to Simms’ insights.

Regretfully, the book is even thinner than it is broad. Worse yet, it is riddled with trite comments, repeated use of the same stock phrases, the author’s opinion masquerading as the result of in-depth analysis and outright false statements. Simms’ analysis is sophomoric, often selectively quoting sources in a manner which does not credibly make his case. As Timothy Garton Ash painstakingly cautions in In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent, taking what politicians say at face value is dangerous and primary sources with different perspectives should be consulted.

Simms constantly ends his review of a situation with an explicit statement to the reader equivalent to: “I told you Germany was at the center of the universe”. Rather than reinforcing his conclusion, which would be obvious if it had been well-argued, these comments highlight the paucity of the author’s analysis.

Simms even makes factual errors about Central European events within his own lifetime. For example:
• The early [in January] 1994 meeting of the Visegrád presidents in Prague’s Hotel Praha is positioned as focused on the EU (with strong German backing for their membership) when in fact the main issue for this meeting was NATO membership. US President Clinton had announced the Partnership for Peace at a NATO summit the week before (which Simms mentions later with no reference to this Prague meeting). The Partnership proposal deeply disappointed the Poles who wanted immediate NATO protection. Clinton went to Prague to convince the Visegrád presidents to accept the Partnership. [Forrest Gump disclosure: I was living in the Hotel Praha at the time of the Visegrád summit.]
• In describing the fall of Communism in Romania, Simms writes that “Ceauşescu was lynched in a palace revolt”. It is well-known that Ceauşescu was shot by firing squad; graphic pictures of his corpse were published worldwide.
Although he aspires to be an expert on 560 years of history, Simms cannot even reliably report events during his own lifetime.

The book ends bizarrely with vague speculation on the future of Europe – political punditry – an implicit recognition by the author that he has taken his thesis, and the reader, nowhere.

I only finished this book because it provided a welcome distraction during a long holiday visit with my mother-in-law. To summarize my review of this book, in deference to Simms’ Oxbridge heritage I paraphrase Macbeth:
Europe's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by a Cambridge don, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A grand tour of european balance of power politics since 1450 22 juin 2013
Par mtp - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This book reviews balance of power politics in Europe and ultimately in the western world beginning 70 years before the reformation. The theme of the book is that in all the permutations of national policies during that time the central issue was Germany and its relationship with its neighbors. The most powerful message the book sends is that the nation states including the Holy Roman Empire lived in constant fear of their neighbors throughout the nearly six centuries covered. The scholarship is outstanding and the writing is pleasantly lucid.
For me the only reservation's are that I felt the first two hundred years were given a shorter shrift than I would have preferred. My second criticism was that the Thirty Years War was dismissed as a war between Catholics and Protestants, when the activities of France and Sweden during that war fit so well with the balance of power theme of the book.
This is a fine book and I recommend it to any one with an interest in European history, particularly, military history.
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