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Extended Audio Sample Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II Audiobook, by Keith Lowe Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (12 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Keith Lowe Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781452679945
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The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years...The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the twentieth century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten.  Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted-such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government-were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation.  In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over.  Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved.  Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe.  Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places-particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France-they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities. Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe toward the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Authoritative but never dry, stripping away soothing myths of national unity and victimhood, this is a painful but necessary historical task superbly done. Kirkus Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B Kevin | 2/1/2014

    " Most histories of WWII end with Germany's surrender. That is where this picks up. At times, the descriptions of the brutality and chaos (and it wasn't just the Russians) is at times difficult to get through, but this is a must for anyone interested in how modern Europe came to be. Also, if you think nation building is wasy, because we did in in Europe. Read this. Massive resettlement (today we call it ethnic cleansing) of populations. People who thought nation building in Afganistan or Iraq would be easy should have read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 1/31/2014

    " It takes a little time to read this book. I repeatedly had to close this book just to sit and think about what I had just read. My view of Europe in the 20TH century has changed. Well written, informative, fascinating, disturbing and horrifying. Don't miss this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David O'Neill | 1/25/2014

    " Interesting read on Post-World War II Europe. Plenty of information that I didn't know, given the simplistic way it's portrayed in general. A great book to read if you've read Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin first. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 1/24/2014

    " The decade after World War II has been neglected by historians. This work opens a chapter on a period of history fraught with turmoil and change that drastically changed the map of Europe. You can learn much about the current state of European affairs by reading this very informative book. For those of you who want to know more about the troubled history of the Balkans or the tempestuous relations between Poland, Germany and Russia, this is your book. I highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhett | 1/20/2014

    " Really informative and interesting. I had no idea what post WWII Europe was like, never even thought about it much, but this book really did a good job of describing the challenges and how it is that the world got sucked into the cold war. This book has plenty of present day relevance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. | 1/19/2014

    " a good but not great history. covers the topic well with facts and brief anecdotes. A difficult book to write, I am sure, both from the depressing nature of the topic and from the confused and the often biased and hate filled source material. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Candy Hudziak | 12/24/2013

    " If you like statistics and lots of stories about atrocity, then this is the history book for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Green | 11/27/2013

    " Horrible, little known history. Terrifying view of human nature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl Johnson | 5/16/2013

    " Horrific account of the ethnic violence and general brutality that convulsed Europe following WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 5/1/2013

    " I learned so much that I never even had an inkling of. WW2 was not "over" for a long time after the official hostilities were. There were scores to settle and ethnic cleansing to conduct. Excellent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oliver Hazan | 2/14/2013

    " A serious and carefully researched book about the little-known horrors that followed the official end of WWII in Europe: forced ethnic relocations, revenge killings, and political chaos. Sobering. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 1/3/2013

    " Very interesting story of post war Europe and the many problems it faced. "

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About the Author

Keith Lowe is the author of two novels and the critically acclaimed history Inferno: The Fiery Devastation of Hamburg, 1943. He is widely recognized as an authority on the Second World War, and has often spoken on TV and radio, both in Britain and the United States. Most recently he was an historical consultant and one of the main speakers in the PBS documentary The Bombing of Germany which was also broadcast in Germany. His books have been translated into several languages, and he has also lectured in Britain, Canada and Germany. He lives in North London with his wife and two kids.

About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.