Books on European history

Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:04 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 93
Books on European history

I've planned a trip to Eastern Europe In July... Iím traveling to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Iíve been to Europe a few times but not to these particular countries.

Iíd like to do some reading about these areas Ė specifically about the history of this region of Europe (or Europe in general). Can anyone recommend any particular books? I know, Germany and WWII are very important and of course any good book would contain info about that... but I donít want it to be the entire book.

Appreciate any opinionsÖ thanks.
mhcatl is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:17 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,389
Anything by Barbara Tuchman is good - although she deals more with Western European History.
semiramis is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:36 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,176
On Central Europe (I'm not gettuing into this nonsense about whether Czech's in Eastern Europe or not, but the area you're referring to is usually known collectively as Central Europe, or if you're really pretentious, Mitteleuropa) and the role it plays in the rest of Europe, both east and west of it, the best, most accessible, writer in English is Norman Davies.

"Europe: a history" is based on the revolutionary idea that what went on in medieval Warsaw or Rostock was just as important as the cavortings in Avignon or Siena. "Microcosm" crystallises all this into the history of the town most Westerners call Wroclaw or Breslau, but that's been called all sorts of other things by the many language groups who've lived in or near it, or under the jurisdiction of its spiritual or temporal lords.

Davies is, in spite of his often angelic writing, also an opinionated lout. But no-one's perfect.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:56 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
I agree, Norman Davies! And maybe for Poland, Mitchner(?). A Polish text that can upset, The Painted Bird.
GSteed is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,800
Another vote for Norman Davies. It's a big book, but it distils an enormous amount of information into a very readable package.

For something very different, see if you can get hold of Patrick Leigh Fermor's account of walking across Europe as a young man in the early 30s - "A Time of Gifts" and "Between the Woods and the Water".
PatrickLondon is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 02:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,176
Patrick:

Of course, Leigh-Fermor. Actuallly anything by him's wonderful, but the walking books are extraordinary. Makes today's backpackers look like complete wooses. And louts.

mhcatl:

While we're at it. The early chapters of Simon Schama's "Landscape and Memory" do the same thing as Norman Davies in treating the early history along the Poland/Lithuania "border" as if it were as important as England or France.

For more recent history: "Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe" by Anne Applebaum
flanneruk is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mike_b12
Europe
4
May 14th, 2016 12:25 PM
bfalke
Europe
7
May 6th, 2008 04:58 PM
greeneyedgirl21
Europe
5
Apr 25th, 2006 03:04 AM
lucky03
Europe
6
Dec 8th, 2003 06:04 AM
Pedro
Europe
10
Apr 27th, 1999 12:41 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:36 AM.