By Bernard Wasserstein
This is the definitive background of up to date Europe, a debatable yet authoritative and vigorous narrative that's destined to develop into the traditional account of the interval from 1914 to the current. during this outstanding quantity, esteemed historian Bernard Wasserstein deals the 1st severe, full-length heritage of a century of convulsive switch. it's a heritage of barbarism and civilization, of cruelty and tenderness, of technological success and environmental blight, of imperial enlargement and withdrawal, of authoritarian repression and of person rebirth. Wasserstein offers either a story of the most contours of the political, diplomatic, and armed forces heritage and an research the underpinnings of demographic, financial, and social advancements. Drawing at the most up-to-date scholarly findings, together with fresh disclosures of intelligence fabrics and archival revelations that the autumn of Communism in jap Europe, Wasserstein captures the essence of latest ecu background in an attractive narrative that's via turns grim, funny, magnificent, and enlightening.
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Additional info for Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time
Peasants still preferred to keep their money in gold under the bed, not in banks. But in other areas Wnancial institutions were beginning to venture into the countryside, as, for example, in France, where peasants increasingly placed their savings in the government-guaranteed postal savings banks. In Britain and France shops were quite common in small country towns but in eastern Europe most retail trade was conducted in markets or by itinerant pedlars, generally Jews. Patterns of landholding varied greatly.
Inter-urban roads had only one lane in each direction and motor traYc would frequently be held up by horse-drawn carts. In 1914 there were 132,000 private cars in use in Britain; France had 108,000, Germany only 61,000. In the absence of means of private locomotion, except for the popular bicycle, most cities had complex systems of public transportation, relying mainly on trains and trams. Underground railways existed in only six cities: London, Glasgow, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, and Budapest (unless one counts the Istanbul Tu¨nel, a short funicular railway between Galata and Beyog˘lu, opened in 1875).
Nor did they evince much inclination to support France against Germany in a crisis over Morocco in 1911. Nevertheless, in the long run France and Russia were drawn together by a common fear of Germany. Economy and demography Europe in 1914 was essentially divided economically and socially between the north-west and the rest. Much of England, south Wales, central Scotland, Belgium, and north-eastern France, as well as parts of the Netherlands, Germany (especially the Ruhr and Silesia), Bohemia, Switzerland, and northern Italy formed a region of advanced industrial development.
Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time by Bernard Wasserstein