History Derailed by Ivan T. Berend
Central and Eastern Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century

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There is probably no greater authority on the modern history of central and eastern Europe than Ivan Berend, whose previous work, Decades of Crisis, was hailed by critics as "masterful" and "the broadest synthesis of the modern social, economic, and cultural history of the region that we possess." Now, having brought together and illuminated this region's storm-tossed history in the twentieth century, Berend turns his attention to the equally turbulent period that preceded it. The "long" nineteenth century, extending up to World War I, contained the seeds of developments and crises that continue to haunt the region today.

The book begins with an overview of the main historical trends in the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, during which time the region lost momentum and became the periphery, no longer in step with the rising West. It concludes with an account of the persisting authoritarian political structures and the failed modernization that paved the way for social and political revolts. The origins of twentieth-century extremism and its tragedies are plainly visible in this penetrating account.

About Ivan T. Berend

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Ivan T. Berend is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Author of Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II (California, 1998) and of Central and Eastern Europe 1944-1993 (1996), he has now, with his informal "trilogy," performed the remarkable feat of laying the entire modern history of the region before the English-speaking audience.
Published June 17, 2003 by University of California Press. 404 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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UCLA history professor Berend (Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II) succeeds in capturing the common as well as the diverse features of the parts of a notoriously complex region during the period from the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 to the start of WWI.

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More often, however, the influences coming from Europe's other half were warped or stymied by the frustrations and excesses of peoples denied a natural path to freedom, as well as by social and economic forms laggard since the sixteenth century.

Sep 10 2017 | Read Full Review of History Derailed: Central and...

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