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The Penguin History of Europe (1996)

von J. M. Roberts

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717824,309 (3.84)6
Comprehensive in its scope and brilliantly readable, this is a superb follow-up to the author's bestselling Penguin History of the World. Beginning with prehistory and the early civilizations of the Aegean, The Penguin History of Europe traces the development of European identity in its many guises, through the age of Christendom, the Middle Ages, early Modern history and the old European order.… (mehr)
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"In spreading revolutionary principles the French often put a rod in the pickle for their own backs."

That is an actual sentence from this book. I have no idea what it means. I have also just passed the third time the author has referred to something from history as being "scotched in the egg". I know what a scotched egg is, I could probably even cook one, but I have no idea what the writer is talking about or why he is so proud of coming up with that phrase that he keeps using it.

I am 2/3s of the way through this book and honestly can think of no reason that I persist other than just stubbornness. At first I just thought that maybe it had been a while since I read a book at this reading level, but that was too generous of me. The author uses weird sentence structures and contrived language in such a way that I have to reread almost every sentence and then analyse it, "is he using a that as a noun or an adjective? What was the verb". Every sentence is a puzzle to be solved. There's a spot in there where I'm not sure, but I think he used "outstanding" as a noun.

Even a few commas in the right places would make things so much easier, but instead he spent all his punctuation money on $10 words. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for using words that are specific and add to the meaning of the thought. However, this guy uses words in an almost nonsensical way. My guess is he's just showing off. And I am left thinking "I know what the words mean, I just don't know what they mean the way he wrote them".



  northwestknitter | Mar 28, 2021 |
This book is definitely a dense read, but I found it worth the time and energy it took to see it through to the end. Roberts did a good job of highlighting the main themes of the history of Europe without getting bogged down in too many details. That said, I think the complaint about this type of book is always going to be the lack of detail about a great many things that the reader might find interesting or important. I'm glad I read this one, but I think it will be a good long while before I pick up a survey type book again. ( )
  Jthierer | Jun 13, 2019 |
Beginning with its Paleolithic origins and the early civilizations of the Aegean, Roberts traces the development of the European identity over the course of thousands of years, ranging across empires and religions, economics, science, and the arts. Antiquity, the age of Christendom, the Middle Ages, early modern history, and the old European order all are surveyed in turn, with particular emphasis given to the turbulent twentieth century. ( )
  MarkBeronte | Mar 4, 2014 |
Part II of my Ionian Islands theme reading. Double yay!!
  beabatllori | Apr 2, 2013 |
In "The penguin history of Europe" behandelt Roberts de geschiedenis van Europa zoals hij eerder de geschiedenis van de wrereld behandelde in "A history of the world". De grote gelijkenis tussen beide boeken valt onmiddellijk op. In feite is zijn nieuwe boek gelijk aan zijn oude boek minus de blz die op gebieden buiten Europa betrekking hebben. Dit is eigenlijk het enige grote bezwaar tegen dit boek, het is een prima handleiding tot de Europese geschiedenis die niet al te lang is, toegankelijk en prettig leesbaar. Toch raad ik iedereen aan om zijn "History of the world" te lezen in plaats van dit boek.
Uitgelezen: dinsdag 27 februari 2001 ( )
  erikscheffers | Sep 16, 2009 |
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Comprehensive in its scope and brilliantly readable, this is a superb follow-up to the author's bestselling Penguin History of the World. Beginning with prehistory and the early civilizations of the Aegean, The Penguin History of Europe traces the development of European identity in its many guises, through the age of Christendom, the Middle Ages, early Modern history and the old European order.

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940 — History and Geography Europe Europe

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