On September 1st, 1939, an aggressively expanding, fascist Germany imputatively violated international accords and invaded Poland, setting off a chain reaction of alliances that resulted in the conflict known as World War II. For six years, this conflict raged, turning into what remains today as the bloodiest conflict in human history. Fighting occurred on every inhabited continent and involved countries from the United States to South Africa to Japan.
In 1945, when the belligerent Germany and Japan finally surrendered, the world was a left a dramatically different place. In the audiobook Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, narrated by Ralph Cosham, historian and Professor Tony Judt examines the events occurring in Europe after the end of the war. This book, which was written over the course of ten years, is a sweeping and yet detailed look at the way Europe was indelibly shaped by World War II.
From the politics of the Cold War to the ethnic violence in the Balkan region during the 1990's, Judt examines the inexorable link between the results of the Second World War and the developments in Europe during the years following. Judt inspects these events in a way that avoids ideological pandering or narrative fallacy, presenting the facts in an objective and unbiased manner. Instead of enforcing a contrived "overarching theme", Judt instead opts for a simple retelling devoid of pontification. For the serious student of history, or anyone seeking a greater understanding of the world we live in and how it came to be, this audiobook is a must have.
Tony Judt, who passed away in 2010, was a professor of European History at the University of New York and the founder of the Remarque Institute of European Studies. He authored 11 books, and is remembered as one of the prominent historians of the contemporary age.
"It's hard to write a review of this, but I think if I could say one thing about it it would be that it is probably one of the best books that conceptualizes Europe, as big or small as it may seem, as one thing while still acknowledging the differences within its states and regions. This is a very good book for understanding the interconnected and cosmopolitan situation in modern Europe and where that comes from."
Mike (4 out of 5 stars)
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
“Impressive . . . Mr. Judt writes with enormous authority.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Magisterial . . . It is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive, authoritative, and yes, readable postwar history.” —The Boston Globe
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 listeners through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change—all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. The book incorporates international relations, domestic politics, ideas, social change, economic development, and culture—high and low. Every country has its chance to play the lead, and although the big themes are superbly handled—including the cold war, the love/hate relationship with America, cultural and economic malaise and rebirth, and the myth and reality of unification—none of them is allowed to overshadow the rich pageant that is the whole. Vividly and clearly written for the general listener, witty, opinionated, and full of fresh and surprising stories and asides, Postwar is a movable feast for lovers of history and lovers of Europe alike.
Both intellectually ambitious and compelling, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
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About Tony Judt
Tony Judt (1948–2010) was a British historian, essayist, author, editor, and university professor. He specialized in European history, was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor in European Studies at New York University, and director of NYU’s Erich Maria Remarque Institute. He was a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Republic, the New York Times, and many other journals in Europe and the United States. In 1996 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2007 a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. His book Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.