Celebrated historian John Hirst offers a fascinating exploration of the qualities that made Europe a world-changing civilisation.
The Shortest History of Europe begins with a rapid overview of European civilisation, describing its birth from an unlikely mixture of classical learning, Christianity and German warrior culture. Over the centuries, this unstable blend produced highly distinctive characters – pious knights and belligerent popes, romantics spouting folklore and revolutionaries imitating Rome – and its coming apart provided the dynamic of European history in modern times.
Accompanied by lively illustrations, The Shortest History of Europe is a clear, humorous and thought-provoking account of a remarkable civilisation. This new edition brings the story into the present, covering the world wars and beyond.
‘Beautifully and sparely constructed, yet rich in fact, feeling and detail, sweeping, challenging and funny’—James Button
‘a wise, illuminating little book’—Peter Craven, The Sydney Morning Herald
‘Crisp, lucid and evocative prose … The balance of analysis and description,
generalisation and specific instance, is beautifully maintained’—Wilfrid Prest, Australian Book Review
‘an entertaining, learned piece of historical compres–sion’—The Age
‘great stuff, the book as a whole is constantly thought-provoking’—The Courier Mail