The Struggle for Europe by William I. Hitchcock
The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945-2002

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From the ashes of World War II to the advent of the Euro, the definitive history of the postwar rebirth of Europe by one of our finest young historians.

After a century of war, genocide, and ideological rivalry, Europe has at last emerged as a continent striving for stability, tolerance, democracy and prosperity. Yet the making of today’s Europe has not been easy. Its success was achieved only after a half-century of struggle between capitalism and Communism, between the forces of integration and the forces of nationalism, between the ideals of fairness and justice and a legacy of racism and inequality. In fact, as the recent rise of far-right extremism demonstrates, this contest is not over.

William Hitchcock’s sweeping new survey fills a critical gap in the writing on postwar Europe. The Struggle for Europe starts by assessing the impact of World War II on European politics and society and the foundations of Europe’s extraordinary economic recovery. It explores the role of the United States and the Soviet Union in shaping the postwar settlement and shows how Europeans often resisted and defied superpower dictates. In examining Cold War politics between 1945 and 1989, Hitchcock reveals the serious challenges mounted to the superpowers by such European leaders as Charles de Gaulle, Willy Brandt, and Margaret Thatcher. The book examines the collapse of Communism as an ideology and lays out the long-term factors that led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Concluding chapters show that Europe has made great strides in fulfilling the promise of economic and political union but has yet to overcome the troubling legacy of racial, ethnic, and national antagonism.

Europe stands on the threshold of enormous political and economic change that will profoundly shape world affairs. Now more than ever there is a need to review the continent’s postwar history. The Struggle For Europe splendidly fulfills that need.

About William I. Hitchcock

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William Hitchcock was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1965, the son of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. He graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio and received his Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 1994. A former professor and prize-wining teacher at Yale, he is currently a professor of modern European history at Wellesley College. He is the author of France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954. He lives in Ashland, Massachusetts.
Published January 21, 2003 by Doubleday. 528 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Struggle for Europe

Kirkus Reviews

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A lucid, highly readable survey of modern European history.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Struggle for Europe: The ...

The Guardian

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The Struggle for Europe: A History of the Continent since 1945 by William Hitchcock Profile £25, pp528 The title is exact, specific and precise.

Jan 26 2003 | Read Full Review of The Struggle for Europe: The ...

The Guardian

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John Roberts and Norman Davies produced fine general histories of Europe, Davies giving eastern Europe particular attention throughout and in a last chapter summing up the European story since 1945.

Feb 07 2003 | Read Full Review of The Struggle for Europe: The ...

Publishers Weekly

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Hitchcock, a professor at Wellesley College, is an unabashed admirer of Europe, which he views as the global center of peace, democracy and prosperity.

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