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Europe: The Struggle For Supremacy 1453 To…
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Europe: The Struggle For Supremacy 1453 To The Present (edició 2014)

de Brendan Simms (Autor)

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276371,170 (4.03)3
In 'Europe,' Brendan Simms presents an authoritative account of the past half-millennium of European history, demonstrating how the battle for mastery there has shaped the modern world.
Membre:StammChris
Títol:Europe: The Struggle For Supremacy 1453 To The Present
Autors:Brendan Simms (Autor)
Informació:Penguin UK (2014), Edition: Third Impression, 720 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present de Brendan Simms

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Un intersante ensayo que hila distintos aspectos de la historia Europea a los fines de sostener la tesis de que Alemania es la pieza fundamental de la historia mundial por ser el centro de Europa, Si la política es hija de la historia, y la historia hija de la geografía, quien domina el área del centro de europa dominará europa y por consiguiente esa zona es el eje de la historia. ta vez algunas conexiones son un poco forzadas, pero resulta muy interesante ( )
  gneoflavio | Nov 17, 2020 |
This is a very good book about the geopolitics of Europe from the fall of Constantinople until 2011. The gist of the book is that Europe was fragmented and remained that way because of balance-of-power politics. If one country became too strong, others would gang up to keep it in its place. He further argues that Germany was the core of the issue because of its human and physical resources. The Holy Roman Empire was a never a united entity and anyone who threatened to unite Germany was opposed by other powers. Ultimately, because of the growth of Russia and Anglo-French rivalry, Germany was able to unite in the late 19th century, which led to an upset of the balance of power and two world wars. After its division in 1945, both east and west accepted it because it neutralized Germany. The reunion of a demilitarized Germany created different issues, which made it less of a threat but cause it to push for expansion of NATO eastward.

The author makes a good case for the centrality of Germany, but his emphasis on it became almost comical. He would describe nearly any European crisis and then say "The key, of course, was Germany." or "The central issue, of course, was Germany." This was an easy sell when discussing Charles V of Spain trying to pull the Holy Roman Empire together and the Thirty Years War. And it was clear that Germany was key in the World Wars and in the Cold War. But it is harder to argue with the Seven Years War, in which Britain and France barely fought each other in Europe. It got even tougher when he tried to make Germany the central issue in Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam or the Sino-Soviet split. To be sure, Germany was an issue throughout the Cold War, but it wasn't the central issue every time. Simms has a very strong argument, but like most historians, he takes it too far in an effort to make his argument seem more revolutionary. The effect is to detract from the power of his argument and make it seem like a punchline rather than a thesis.

Even with that criticism, this is a very good book and definitely worth a read for anyone interested in European history. ( )
  Scapegoats | Jul 15, 2017 |
Brendan Simms, a professor at the University of Cambridge, has written comprehensive history of the Western World from the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 up to the present. His unifying theme is the struggle for control of the German speaking lands of central Europe by countries on the periphery and by the Germans themselves. The fundamental issue was whether Europe was to be united or dominated by a single Power. Simms takes the reader through the efforts to control the continent by Charles V, Philip II, Louis XIV, Suleiman the Magnificent, Napoleon, Hitler, the Soviet Union, and finally NATO and the European Union of today.

Along the way, he makes many thought provoking assertions that may not be shared by all historians, but are genuinely worth considering. He argues that the principal protagonists sought legitimacy through assuming the mantle if not the title of Holy Roman Emperor. Charles V had the title, Henry VIII, Louis XIV, and Suleiman the Magnificent actively sought the title. And, according to Simms, Queen Elizabeth I, Cromwell, Marlborough, the two Pitts, Bismarck, Franklin Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, and Gorbachev all knew that “the struggle for mastery would be decided by or in the Empire and its German successor states.” Charles de Gaul even wrote that France “was destined by her geography to promote a European Union,” primarily as a solution to the German problem.

In all, it is a well written fascinating story, even if the author occasionally must force the facts into his analytical framework.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Nov 10, 2015 |
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A false balance is abomination to the Lord, but a just weight in his delight

-- Proverbs II:I

You must in commanding and winning

Or serving and losing

Suffering or triumphing

Be either hammer or anvil

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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We are often told that the past is another country, and they certainly did many things differently in the 550-odd years covered by this book.
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In 'Europe,' Brendan Simms presents an authoritative account of the past half-millennium of European history, demonstrating how the battle for mastery there has shaped the modern world.

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