Europe by Brendan Simms
The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present

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...an excellent read and its insights into the grand themes of European history are penetrating and lucidly argued.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

If there is a fundamental truth of geopolitics, it is this: whoever controls the core of Europe can control 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.
 

About Brendan Simms

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Brendan Simms is a fellow at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, professor in the History of European International Relations, and Director of the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge. The author of five books, including Three Victories and a Defeat and Unfinest Hour, which was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, he lives in Cambridge, England.
 
Published April 30, 2013 by Basic Books. 722 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Europe
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Richard J Evans on May 23 2013

...a tedious, cliché-ridden narrative, in which international relations appear as a kind of abstract game, much as they used to be described many decades ago, when diplomatic history was fashionable.

Read Full Review of Europe: The Struggle for Supr... | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Jeffrey Collins on May 24 2013

He makes a powerful case that Berlin will largely determine the matter. The "German question is back," Mr. Simms's writes. Readers of his book will feel the full historical weight of that assertion.

Read Full Review of Europe: The Struggle for Supr... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Tony Barber on Apr 19 2013

...an excellent read and its insights into the grand themes of European history are penetrating and lucidly argued.

Read Full Review of Europe: The Struggle for Supr... | See more reviews from Financial Times

Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by Frank T. Csongos on May 21 2013

Mr. Simms researched his book meticulously, with much of his material coming from German archives.

Read Full Review of Europe: The Struggle for Supr... | See more reviews from Washington Times

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Tracy Farkas

Tracy Farkas 5 Sep 2013

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