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. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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By Daniel (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · January 14, 2014
The short version: part of me didn't want to read another history of post-WWII Europe, being of the firm opinion that Tony Judt's Postwar is a brilliant accomplishment and any other similar book is only going to pale in comparison. And indeed I missed Judt's erudition, wide-ranging insights, and... ...more
By Kerri (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · July 17, 2014
I'm surprised at how much I liked this book. It was clear and easily comprehendible and the imagery was superb. It got a little hard to get through all of it, but it was worth the time. ...more
By Simon (Australia) · ★★★☆☆ · February 19, 2014
One of the central themes of this book is an attempt to answer the question: What is a European? Such a simple question, but a good one. It goes to the heart of many failed and flawed attempts to unite Europe throughout its history. It seems many people have a different answer to the question, an... ...more
By Nate (Louisville, KY) · ★★★★★ · June 22, 2011
Rise to Globalism by Steven Ambrose has been one of my favorite books since university. This book, too, gives a very thorough examination of the history of Europe, since the last days of WWII. However, where Rise to Globalism is viewing that story from the United States, The Struggle for Europe t... ...more
By Randy (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★★☆ · May 01, 2008
This was required reading in one of my College History courses. I loved it, but to those who with a mild interest in European history, it might be a bit dry.

While backpacking around Europe after college, I saw this book in a bookstore and used it for reference while on my journey. It provided th... ...more
By Duncan · ★★★★★ · February 11, 2012
It's hard to believe that this superb work was written by an American
If not for the odd Americanism e.g. his use of the word "color" (and after a quick google),I would swear he was writing from personal experience.
Normally I find recent European history slightly unattractive, probably beca... ...more
By Shannon (Gaithersburg, MD) · ★★★★☆ · May 18, 2010
I really enjoyed this book - Hitchcock's writing was clear and understandable, and I learned about a lot of history that I feel is often mentioned in class and never fully explored. The chapter on the 1990 Bosnian War is particularly good (though very sad). I enjoy the fact that he doesn't assume... ...more
By Alyssa (Chillicothe, OH) · ★★★☆☆ · May 05, 2011
I read this for a history class. It's a pretty weighty read to pack into 10 weeks but it's interesting and after reading it I feel comfortable talking to others about many aspects of Postwar Europe. ...more