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Postwar
Cover of Postwar
Postwar
A History of Europe Since 1945
by Tony Judt
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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award
One of the
New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year

Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.


Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award
One of the
New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year

Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.


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Awards-
Table of Contents-
  • Preface & Acknowledgements
    Introduction

    Part One: Post-War: 1945-1953

    I. The Legacy of War
    II. Retribution
    III. The Rehabilitation of Europe
    IV. The Impossible Settlement
    V. The Coming of the Cold War
    VI. Into the Whirlwind
    VII. Culture Wars
    Coda. The End of Old Europe

    Part Two: Prosperity and Its Discontents: 1953-1971

    VIII. The Politics of Stability
    IX. Lost Illusions
    X. The Age of Affluence
    XI. The Social Democratic Hour
    XII. The Spectre of Revolution
    XIII. The End of the Affair

    Part Three: Recessional: 1971-1989

    XIV. Diminished Expectations
    XV. Politics in a New Key
    XVI. A Time of Transition
    XVII. The New Realism
    XVIII. The Power of the Powerless
    XIX. The End of the Old Order

    Part Four: After the Fall: 1989-2005

    XX. A Fissile Continent
    XXI. The Reckoning
    XXII. The Old Europe—:and the New
    XXIII. The Varieties of Europe
    XXIV. Europe as a Way of Life

    Epilogue
    From the House of the Dead: An Essay on Modern European Memory

    Index

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 29, 2005
    This is the best history we have of Europe in the postwar period and not likely to be surpassed for many years. Judt, director of New York University's Remarque Institute, is an academic historian of repute and, more recently, a keen observer of European affairs whose powerfully written articles have appeared in the New York Times
    , the New York Review of Books
    and elsewhere. Here he combines deep knowledge with a sharply honed style and an eye for the expressive detail.
    Postwar
    is a hefty volume, and there are places where the details might overwhelm some readers. But the reward is always there: after pages on cabinet shuffles in some small country, or endless diplomatic negotiations concerning the fate of Germany or moves toward the European Union, the reader is snapped back to attention by insightful analysis and excellent writing. Judt shows that the dire human and economic costs of WWII shadowed Europe for a very long time afterward. Europeans and Americans recall the economic miracle, but it didn't really transform people's lives until the late 1950s, when a new, more individualized, consumer-oriented society began to appear in the West. But Postwar
    is not just a history of Western Europe. One of its great virtues is that it fully integrates the history of Eastern and Western Europe, and covers the small countries as well as the large and powerful ones.
    Judt is judicious, even a bit uncritical, in his appraisal of American involvement in Europe in the early postwar years, and he's scathing about Western intellectuals' accommodation to communism. His book focuses on cultural and intellectual life rather than the social experiences of factory workers or peasants, but it would probably be impossible to encompass all of it in one volume. Overall, this is history writing at its very best. Agent, Andrew Wylie.

  • Reviews for Postwar by Tony Judt A book that has the pace of a thriller and the scope of an encyclopedia... Brilliant. —The New York Review of Books

    "…brilliantly detailed account of Europe's recovery from the wreckage of World War II presents a whole continent in panorama." —The New York Times Book Review

    "Remarkable... The writing is vivid; the coverage—of little countries as well as of great ones—is virtually superhuman." —Louis Menand, The New Yorker

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A History of Europe Since 1945
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