Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II

By Cyril E. Black; Robert D. English et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

The dramatic events in Europe in 1989, the tumultuous developments that followed, and the growing realization of a single Europe underscore the need for reassessment of the history of Europe since World War II. In this book we seek to meet that need by examining the political and economic history of postwar Europe in both its domestic and international dimensions.

We begin by surveying the rise of Europe from the fourteenth through the nineteenth centuries, analyzing the forces of modernization that led to its preeminence at the beginning of the twentieth century. We then portray the decline of Europe from its pinnacle of strength and optimism through war, depression, and totalitarianism, culminating in the devastation of World War II, which left Europe deprived of both political and economic vitality. In Part Two we take up our central task of analyzing the international aspects of the phenomenal rebirth of Europe, beginning with its shattered state in 1945 and continuing through the revolutionary changes of the early 1990s. It is a story of division, Cold War confrontation, evolving West European integration, and eventual emergence of a reshaped Europe as an independent player on the global stage.

Part Three presents an in-depth examination of the major European nations and of many of the smaller states. The histories of these states do not always correspond with the flow of international events, and their consideration over a sweep of nearly a half-century thus affords a useful comparative analytical perspective. We discuss the main developments in these countries and place them in the larger international context; special attention is given to patterns of modernization, efforts to achieve economic growth and stability, and political responses to issues of social and economic justice. In our final chapter, we reflect upon Europe as a whole, attempt to place its history in a larger setting, discuss the deepening of the European Community, and consider the many challenges and opportunities facing the new Europe.

Rebirth is in some respects a descendant of a well-known text, Twentieth Century Europe, coauthored by Cyril E. Black and Ernst C. Helmreich

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Rebirth: A Political History of Europe since World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Preface to the Second Edition xvii
  • PART ONE - Historical Background 1
  • Chapter One - Europe Triumphant: 1300-1900 3
  • Contents 3
  • Notes 25
  • Suggested Readings 25
  • Chapter Two - Europe in Crisis: 1900-1945 28
  • Contents 28
  • Notes 53
  • Suggested Readings 53
  • PART TWO - The International Scene 55
  • Chapter Three - Europe Divided: 1945-1955 57
  • Contents 57
  • Notes 103
  • Suggested Readings 103
  • Chapter Four - East-West Equilibrium: 1955-1975 105
  • Contents 105
  • Notes 142
  • Suggested Readings 142
  • Chapter Five - A New Europe Emerges 144
  • Contents 144
  • Suggested Readings 197
  • PART THREE - The Nation-States 199
  • Chapter Six - Germany: West and East 201
  • Contents 201
  • Notes 250
  • Suggested Readings 250
  • Chapter Seven - The Soviet Union 252
  • Contents 252
  • Notes 300
  • Suggested Readings 300
  • Chapter Eight - Eastern Europe 303
  • Contents 303
  • Suggested Readings 352
  • Chapter Nine - The United Kingdom 356
  • Contents 356
  • Notes 409
  • Suggested Readings 409
  • Chapter Ten - France 411
  • Contents 411
  • Notes 467
  • Suggested Readings 468
  • Chapter Eleven - Italy and the Vatican 470
  • Contents 470
  • Notes 512
  • Suggested Readings 513
  • Chapter Twelve - The Small States of Western and Northern Europe 514
  • Contents 514
  • Notes 565
  • Suggested Readings 565
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Iberian and Aegean States 569
  • Contents 569
  • Notes 610
  • Suggested Readings 610
  • PART FOUR - Conclusion 613
  • Chapter Fourteen - A New Europe 615
  • Contents 615
  • Suggested Readings 643
  • Chronotogy 647
  • Index 685
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