Epub free Roller Coaster Europe 1950 2017 – thetributepages.co.uk
Mic and social structures which were in many respects determining and important in driving changes For example the de facto bankruptcy of communist economic planning ensured that the first leader who started reforming Gorbachev in this case would usher in the end of the biggest political experiment humanity has ever experienced When Gorbachev decided that perestroika was the way to go the fate of all the Soviet states including Russia was effectively sealedBehind these events in the background were developing economic ideas After World War II which whiped out much and enable Europe with the help of US Marshall Aid to start from scratch a conservative consensus allowed the continent to recover Government companies and people realized that they had to work together to rebuild their nations which meant in effect that social democratic ideals access to housing education and health care higher wages etc were put into practice This Keynesian world was a world of boom and prosperity which was partly fuelled by new technology but also partly by fear of World War II It was only after 1973 that this golden age was done away with mostly due to stagnating productivity and huge inflation stagflation These problems could only be tackled within a new economic framework which focused on liberalizing and deregulating all products and services including government services and cutting government expenditures including social welfare and healthcare This neoliberal age saw the de coupling of currencies from the gold standard and the dollar severe austerity measures to cut government debts and the boom of deregulated financial markets enabled by new information and communication technologiesThis dominant neoliberal framework spread all across the globe and forced post communist countries to plunge into huge shortages unemployment and massive social and economic suffering euphemistically labeled shock therapy which they only left behind them after a decade of problems This framework is also the main explanation for the financial crisis in 2008 that plunged economies into serious problems It is ironic that the same framework that caused to problem was used to solve the problem austerity uantitive easing etcThese are some of the main developments that chracterize the era 1950 2017 Of course there s to be said the islamic threat the rise of populism etc but it is impossible to do justice to such a huge work 600 pages so I rather leave it at thatIt s an incredibly interesting book and Kershaw is a truly gifted writer yet I found the last 13 of the book dealing with post 911 Europe to be a bit tiresome This period is too fresh in our memories to offer an interesting story in such a book Also the we approach here and now the ideology and interpretation becomes involved For example Kershaw fulminates against populism populist nationalism which characterizes much of contemporary European politics and led to Trump Brexit European populist parties etc I don t agree with him on that populism is a reaction to growing income and wealth ineualities in the West due to policies of globalization neoliberalism and unchecked democracy Not seeing this hinders one s understanding of the situation you can t understand Trump or Brexit without understanding the conseuences of neoliberalism post 1973 What people like Trump and Farage offer might not be likeable to academics nor be solutions to the problem yet one has to acknowledge that all the mainstream media and parties offer now solution either while refusing to agree on the obvious analysis People inherently feel this misleading of the people parties that used to exist for protecting the worker have now adopted a neoliberal framework in which they look for solutions to problems Trump and Brexit offer people the only available tangible alternatives to the current status uo by which they are injured Former left and rightwing parties have become mainstream technocrats trying to look for solutions within the current system But and people feel like we need a new system to begin with which damages the interests of the mainstream parties and media etc I find it extremely frustrating that academics and intellectuals refuse to face these facts the cognitive dissonance might be too much for people who grew up within the system and who have been conditioned
to look at the current system as intrinsically good A second issue is Kershaw s own ideological stance look at the current system as intrinsically good A
issue is Kershaw s ideological stance it comes to economics it
Second Issue Is Kershaw S
is easy to read he rejects neoliberalism especially Thatcher while accepting that Keynes offers no solution any easy to read he rejects neoliberalism especially Thatcher while accepting that Keynes offers no solution any Even though I agree with him I don t like to read politics in a book on history also neoliberalism was a natural product of economic developments in the period 1950 1973 By now it has become a hindrance to progress but it will itself be the fountain of a new economic developmentIn short it s a good book highly recommendable and readable yet the timespan 1950 2017 is a bit too limited to justify a book of 600 pages The last two chapters 100 pages could have been left out as well as Kershaw s personal views besides this I have nothing to complain EDIT I have found a sort of appendix to his book written in 2018 in which he reviews the big recent trends and tries to sketch some very borad future outlines for Europe In this afterword Kershaw does acknowledge the gradual destruction of the social contract through neoliberalism the continuing individualization automation and the toll both take on the social sides of our societies the problems with the shift to a multipolar world especially with relation to the fragmentary nature of Europe itself and the bibbest future threats to European safety and prosperityIn short this afterwords shows me that Kershaw does get the points I mentioned above and that I was much too hasty to condemn him as someone that doesn t see the problems for what they are And with this I raise my review of this book with one star I m even impressed by Kershaw s witty analysis and his sharp remarks I first read Ian Kershaw s work with his superb two volume biography of Hitler He is a fine historian and has written an excellent book the latest volume in Penguin s history of Europe seriesHow one approaches a volume like this will depend on one s age when encountering it Younger readers may well run into a volume like this in an assigned seminar or advanced course or a preparation for some form of comprehensive examination As a text it succeeds admirably and is well written and organized and fairly thorough in its coverage While Kershaw admits his limitations up front his coverage of the wide range of difficult areas in the book is astonishing while at the same time not overdone I especially liked the section on the Yugoslav Civil War Readers will likely need additional work if they want to follow up on nuances in technological change or the financialeconomic background to the Great Recession but that was to be expected and there is a huge recent literature to go to for these topicsWhen one comes on a volume like this at a later age the thought is to moan about just how much one remembers from this broad span of events and see whether one s memories match with the accounts of the book This was enjoyable since the accounts that were relevant ring true and start to move from news accounts and columns in the Economist to historical writingAnother important issue is the general perspective of a massive work like this in particular how does it compare with Tony Judt s work Postwar I am not getting rid of my copy of Judt but this is also a fine work Kershaw is especially convincing at drawing together the ways in which Europe by 2017 was immeasurably better than it was in 1950 even when the entire continent seems in decline How The Global Age fits with Postwar will reuire a bit thought but I remain hopeful as Kershaw does at the end of the boo. S after 2008 were the clearest warnings to Europeans that there was no guarantee of peace and stability and even today the continent threatens further fracturing In this remarkable book Ian Kershaw has created a grand panorama of the world we live in and where it came from Drawing on examples from all across Europe The Global Age is an endlessly fascinating portrait of the recent past and present and a cautious look into our futu. ,
This is a good history of Europe since 1950 that has some blemishes I ll get to in a moment I picked it up because I had read and thoroughly enjoyed Kershaw s earlier volume in the Penguin History of Europe To Hell and Back Europe 1914 1949 Roller Coaster is mostly narrative with some sociology style discussions of societal structure ideology and economicsWhat s welcome about this volume is that it tells the mainstream history of the great powers Germany France Italy the UK etc and then for each chapter conducts a tour through all of the other countries of Europe Portugal Spain Ireland the countries of Eastern Europe the Soviet UnionRussia Turkey If you re a pretty well read history buff you probably now the stories of Germany France and the UK pretty well But the broad scope here is great because you can see for instance the evolution of say Bulgaria in the context of everything else going on The minor stars here are Hungary Czechoslovakia and Poland Poland s recent turn to a authoritarian style should be of great interest to American readers Kershaw is also pretty good on the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing hostilities though for me I still don t understand what was really going on in Serbia Bosnia Herzegovina Montenegro etc It s also really interesting for an American reader because the United States is off stage Reagan gets some attention but for instance President Ford is never mention and Carter appears over a little 3 page stretch The book will help Americans understand better why Europeans with the exception of the UK see us as an ocean away as we areAnd then there are the two major stars One is Germany In his Afterword Kershaw underscores the radical differences between the Germany of the 1930s and the Germany of the 2010s It is really incredible and Kershaw Art keeps our eyes on the move toward democracy and eventual unification of East and West But none of that would have been possible without the agency of Mikhail Gorbachev the other major star The first 5 chapters and maybe the last 2 are somewhat boring for my taste but chapters 7 10 with Gorbachev at the center are exciting and well told Another nice thing about the book is that iteeps one s attention on the economic history For example the strong impact on the evolution of the EU and its finances owing to the German aversion to inflationUnfortunately I m really confused about the audience for this book and how it was intended to be read and used There are non descriptive chapter titles Eg Chapter 6 is entitled Challenges Er what God Is in the Crowd kind of challenges While each chapter doesn t describe a specific swath of years each chapter would have benefited from someind of subtitle for that one it would be Political Turbulence of the Late 1960s and Early 1970s Within a chapter there are sections with useful titles like The Migrant Crisis p 512 and Brexit p 532 but honestly why not put these section titles in the table of contentsThe explanation of terms the bibliography and the index are weak Just for example on terms Unless you ve read some European history are you going to Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard know what is meant by athe falange It s not even in the index Another one Pillarisation Maybe if you re English and have paid attention to the Belgians you wouldnow it The book was published by Allen LanePenguin but honestly can you toss the American reader a bone This book is crying out for an annotated bibliography guide for further reading It s not that obvious but the book has some historiographical axes to grind for instance Kershaw has some investment in the great man style of history Why not help the reader I think such a guide would be valuable than the mere list of books we have at the end Very well written and researched as expected by a leading scholar in the field Despite being a tad outside his subject specialism Ian Kershaw wrote a compelling fascinating insightful account of post war Europe Reservations and difficulties notwithstanding especially in regard to the author s standpoint purportedly middle ground this is a damn good book I m very surprised at
THE PRAISE THIS IS GETTING ON GR AS OTHER praise this is getting on GR as other have pointed out it reads like newspaper articles strung together and generally exhibits the ind of two cheers for liberalism thinking that caused the catastrophes GFC reactionary nationalism and so on of the early twenty first century Perhaps he just tried to include too much I imagine writing a book like this is uite a difficult task But it certainly doesn t live up to Kershaw s earlier volume on Europe during the war years A book that offers much but with significant gaps and an absence of analysis Europe s story since 1950 is one of threat change success challenge and improvement perhaps lost opportunity too and so promises a rollercoaster of a ride for the reader Ian Kershaw s book was in the main a pleasure to read and covers a great deal in its pages but like the aforementioned rollercoaster it has dips and can feel uneven at timesThe early years leading to the 1960s is very well done and as the story moves from the 1970s I started to feel the book was only partly delivering on its sub title of Europe 1950 2017I was disappointed not to see
significant or detailed mention of tourism trade and culture The impact on Europe s nations and its fabric from tourism has or detailed mention of tourism trade and culture The impact on Europe s nations and its fabric from tourism has economies lives and indeed coastlines and other infrastructure with construction of resorts roads and airports Yet little is discussed Likewise trade there s naturally mention of East and West and their differences and changes in traditional industry but nothing on the success for example of the German car industry worldwide and how this drove and used technology Nothing on say high tech or global European brands and how these contributed to wealth and global trade How design manufacturing techniues and supply chains evolved Nothing on say Rotterdam s place in world shipping and logistics nothing on fishing and the political and environmental impacts exhausted stocks and uotas Nothing on Russia s supply of energy to much of western Europe There is sparse mention of sport so nothing on the Olympic games or football skiing or say motor sport all again supporting international jobs in design construction technology and reaching far into and across Europe for dependent and interdependent industries Likewise culture and arts Music is near ignored and yet its place in people s lives and as commercial ventures with performers on world stadium filling tours or classical concerts Not even a mention of the Eurovision song contest an annual televised extravaganza that sees numerous European nations compete Nothing on how art has become and architecture draw people to museums galleries and citiesThe internet gets a simple single mention it was invented by Tim Berners Lee So nothing on how it the internet changed how people governments and companies trade work and speak with each other In this book it has no impact or influence on Europe there is nothing on social media and how this is used or influences politics discussion and people s beliefs or ability to view and challenge news and opinionSurprising too was no mention whatsoever of the European Space Agency or other European bodies who have played central roles in Europe and wider Nothing on Europe s work to help medicine Red CrossMSF disease Ebola or Polio and famine Ethiopia Biafra or less palatably how crime and criminals in Europe responded to world social and technological trends or indeed helped create global criminality no mention of drugs modern slavery or cyber crime no mention on intelligence work yet NATO for example gets lots of mentions Not a single word on Europol or InterpolAll in all it was a useful book but with much missing including any sources or references and the odd tiresome opinion from the author One wonders if this would have been a better book had it been The final chapter in the Penguin History of Europe series from the acclaimed scholar and author of To Hell and Back After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the twentieth century described by Ian Kershaw in his previous book as being 'to Hell and back' the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative prosperity to most of Europe Enormous economic improvements transformed the continent The catastrophic era of the.
Ian Kershaw Å 2 CharactersPlit at say 1973 oil crisis or 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union The usual God s view of European history in the given period but very well written and eeping one turning pages until the end highly recommended and arguably among the best in the series The Pursuit of Glory and The Pursuit of Power are the other truly outstanding books in the series though all 9that i read at least were interesting this is where we are now is a sentence no serious historian utters lightly A balanced view of the past unobscured by the emotional distortion that always accompanies present experience is hard enough to obtain Writing a book about the most recent chapter of history bordering on the present while remaining a balanced observer intending to create a truthful narrative is in my opinion a monumental task Kershaw takes on the challenge and offers the reader if heshe is an inhabitant citizen of Europe a rare gift a view from above onto the territory one has to navigate Agree with the authors expressed opinions at times or don t It is not a book that is supposed to put forward a specific political perspective It does not offer solutions However it offers something we are in great need for if we are to find solutions it offers perspective Perhaps better than Judt s Post War According to Kershaw himself the most difficult book he ever wrote but arguably also the best book he ever wrote It should be mandatory reading for every European politician or individual that thinks Europe or the EU should be dismantled Though uite a lot of ground to cover in 700 pages the book is extremely well balances never rushes a subject and dealt with all the major events in the last 75 years Sometimes his own preferences can be read clearly through the lines and ovbiously not a fan of the Brexit Johnson Putin Neo Liberalism or people that actively seek to disolve the EU but as he shares this with myself I did not find it frustrating Rather do I believe that it is good that an intellectual of his stature speaks out against this madness Extremely highly recomanded A good overview of the postwar years which most of us will benefit from reading The surprise however was that it was often dull as many criticise history for being This is not typical of Kershaw s usual work which has vervePart of the problem is that it starts with the Cold War s early years This is sensible but makes for a dry start and many will lose interest Anti Communist protests in the GDR and Poland are interesting if you already now about the later Hungarian and Czech uprisings but a bit obscure for general readers The main problem however is there is no overarching theme here giving coherence to the whole The publishers have been overly ambitious in covering the whole of the time since the war which doesn t have a clear narrative It would ve been far better to tackle the postwar years in two volumes probably splitting the story in 1973 1989 1992 or 2000 Contemporary historian Ian Kershaw had to write a book on twentieh century Europe for the Penguin History of Europe series he decided to write two books The first book To Hell and Back covers the period 1919 to 1949 while the second book Roller Coaster covers the period 1950 2017 year of publishing Before going into Roller Coaster I d like to comment on the whole Penguin series I have been a big fan of this series which focuses on Europe from the time of pre classical Greece up to 2017 Each book deals with a specific era and is written by a different author The problem with this is the huge imbalance it creates Some authors are frankly better writers than others which means that some books are simply better than others Also each author is a historian bringing his own attitude and convictions to the book which means in effect that each part of the story is written from a different angle Lastly the timespan covered in each book differs tremendously meaning that some historical periods are glossed over while other periods are covered in depthAs to this last point I am aware of the scarcity of evidence problem for the historian in general the further we go back in time the scarce our historical resources become the less we can write about the period But this problem simply doesn t cover the whole ground of imbalances inherent in the Penguin series For example the period from pre classical Greece to the fall of the western Roman Empire ca 1000 BC 400 AD is described in one meagre book of about 300 pages Consider the period 1919 2017 which is covered in two books preceding the 1000 pages mark I don t mention this to be a sour grape but havinbg read the whole series of books I can make up the balance and I have to conclude that the further chronologically the series progresses the pages are needed to cover smaller spans of time For me this is a big minus especially since the historical material doesn t warrant this approach Anyway back to Kershaw s bookKershaw has an accessible and attractive style of writing he s gifted and his approach to the twentieth century covering
all political economic social etc perspectives from all different European angles deserves applause He sketches the developments in the Westernpolitical economic social etc perspectives from all different European angles deserves applause He sketches the developments in the Western Eastern European blocs in relation to the background of developments in the USSR and the USA The content of the first 23 book in general up to 2001 is extremely interesting Me having been born in 1988 I grew up in a globalized world in which liberal democracy was deemed to be the golden standard for individual happiness A unipolar world in which the USA was the shining light of freedom So reading about Europe s post World War past offers me gems of insight which are very helpful to put
contemporary phenomena in perspective For example the concept of an ever closer union is a ey thought in European integrationphenomena in perspective For example the concept of an ever closer union is a ey thought in European integration such as the EU the Eurozone etc and which has to be explained in terms of massive World War II trauma Also the history of Eastern European countries which had to resist terrible bureaucratic centralized oppression and paid dearly for it explains why countries like Poland and Hungary are so opposed to ever increasing centralization in the EU and the Eurozone And to understand the Brexit one has to take into account Great Britain s god complex as well as their perception of European integration the term common market is illustratingKershaw s beautiful description of what happened to all the Soviet states after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 enlightens a lot of things In general all over the world countries were plugged into the neoliberal deregulated free market which created some winners but even losers Some success stories Poland Hungary Czech Republic most of all Germany are significant but many other countries suffered a massive fall into criminal anarcho capitalism in which certain individuals and groups took control over vital resources such as oil or steel and were able to become overnight billionaires at the expense of immense economic suffering by the masses Putin s popularity and his attitude towards the West is entirely explainable and understandable in light of these eventsAnother insight Kershaw illustrates clearly is how certain regions developed throughout the period covered and how seeds of later horrors were planted in post World War II settings Some regions like Yugoslavia were able to suppress these seeds for many many years due to charismatic or despotic leaders such as Tito whose personality cults unified their fragmented countries albeit only superficially For example when Tito finally came down in 1980 the civil war that erupted in the early 1990 s and which cost the lives of over 100000 people and created huge displacements resembling the aftermath of both World Wars was almost inevitableKershaw not only is able to illustrate political developments but he is also a magnificent story teller about the underlying econo. World wars receded into an ever distant past though its long shadow continued to shape mentalitiesYet Europe was now a divided continent living under the nuclear threat in a period intermittently fraught with anxiety There were by most definitions striking successes the Soviet bloc melted away dictatorships vanished and Germany was successfully reunited But accelerating globalization brought new fragilities The interlocking crise.