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The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945 to the Present

Hitchcock, William I.

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9780385497992: The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945 to the Present

From the ashes of World War II to the conflict over Iraq, William Hitchcock examines the miraculous transformation of Europe from a deeply fractured land to a continent striving for stability, tolerance, democracy, and prosperity. Exploring the role of Cold War politics in Europe’s peace settlement and the half century that followed, Hitchcock reveals how leaders such as Charles de Gaulle, Willy Brandt, and Margaret Thatcher balanced their nations’ interests against the demands of the reigning superpowers, leading to great strides in economic and political unity. He re-creates Europeans’ struggles with their troubling legacy of racial, ethnic, and national antagonism, and shows that while divisions persist, Europe stands on the threshold of changes that may profoundly shape the future of world affairs.

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"Professor Hitchcock’s The Struggle for Europe is not only shrewd and comprehensive, but written with a wit and vigour that makes it a
real joy to read. It deserves to be the standard work on the subject for many years to come."
- Sir Michael Howard, formerly Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military History, Yale

"This a perfect book for a university classroom on postwar Europe. It is smartly written, lively, and firmly grounded in the new research coming out of Russian and East Euopean archives. Hitchcock has a firm grasp on continental developments, from the disputed origins of the Cold War to the new Europe of Maastrict, the ‘Euro,’ and Brussels."
-Norman Naimark, Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies, Stanford University

"Two features of this book stand out: its easy, lucid style, which allows deeply-thought-out analyses to be slipped into the readable narrative; and the confident way it treats regional complexities, from Ulster to Greece, yet preserves the larger picture of Europe’s remarkable transformation. This is a very deft and mature work."
-Paul Kennedy, author of Rise and Fall of Great Powers and Preparing for the 21st Century

"With a sure grasp of political events, and sometimes frighteningly graphic accounts of Europeans’ personal experiences as they dug out of war-devastated homelands, Hitchcock provides a comprehensive, detailed analysis of how those Europeans--with, and sometimes despite, U.S. help--transformed the devastation into world power that is now at the cutting edge of global change."
-Walter LaFeber, Cornell University

"Every now and then books come along that tell you who the master historians of the next generation are going to be. I had this sense as I read Will Hitchcock’s The Struggle for Europe. Shrewd, comprehensive, elegantly written, always convincing in its arguments, it is without question the most successful analytical synthesis of recent European history now available. This is the kind of book that could proudly cap the career of a senior scholar. That it comes from a young historian with years of productive writing and teaching ahead of him bodes very well for the future of our profession."
-John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:

William I. 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-winning 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.

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