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By Tony Judt

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Council on overseas kin Arthur Ross ebook Award
One of the New York Times' Ten most sensible Books of the Year

Almost a decade within the making, this much-anticipated grand background of postwar Europe from one of many world's so much esteemed historians and intellectuals is a unique success. Postwar is the 1st sleek historical past that covers all of Europe, either east and west, drawing on learn in six languages to brush readers via thirty-four international locations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in a single built-in, captivating narrative. either intellectually bold and compelling to learn, exciting in its scope and pleasant in its small info, Postwar is an extraordinary joy.

 

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By means of 1973 foreigners comprised eleven percentage of France's crew. In West Germany there have been approximately 3 million visitor workers', often from Mediterranean international locations. Europe's 'economic miracle' depended seriously at the contribution of those migrants—and the remittances they despatched domestic. Italian ladies demonstrating for divorce legislation reform, 1974. Post-war west eu welfare laws mainly benefitted hired staff and households. problems with specific crisis to women—abortion, birth control, divorce—had to watch for the Sixties in northern Europe, the Seventies somewhere else. Francisco Franco and his anointed successor, Prince Juan Carlos, October 1971. The Generalissimo (who died in 1975) may were very dissatisfied in his protégé: as King, Juan Carlos thwarted an army coup in 1981 and proved a staunch and renowned defender of democratic Spain. Portugal's first parliamentary elections, April 1975. on reflection the transition to parliamentary democracy in Mediterranean Europe appears to be like gentle or even inevitable. on the time, besides the fact that, many on Left and correct alike anticipated whatever else and have been shocked (and dissatisfied) on the end result. Chancellor Willy Brandt—and GDR foremost Willi Stoph—in Erfurt, March 1970, through the first inter-German talks. Brandt's Ostpolitik opened contacts and eased tensions in critical Europe—but to a couple West Germany appeared to be legitimizing or even propping up its Communist neighbours. 'The eyes of Caligula and the mouth of Marilyn Monroe'. Margaret Thatcher's good fortune in extracting an important EEC finances rebate for Britain owed a lot to her ability at seducing and browbeating not only the British citizens yet even professional cynics like François Mitterrand. | John Paul II on his first papal stopover at to Poland in June 1979. notwithstanding Karol Wojtyla didn't single-handedly convey down Communism—as many fondly believed— his contribution to the discrediting of the regime in Poland was once titanic. Adam Michnik in Gdansk, 1984. Michnik was once probably the most brave and unique critics of Communism in japanese Europe. particularly influential was once his emphasis upon non-violence and upon eroding Communist energy from inside, instead of trying to confront or overthrow it. Mikhail Gorbachev basking in renowned adulation: Prague, April 1987. The final Soviet chief was once by no means as renowned at domestic as he used to be farther west; yet luck in a foreign country inspired him to pursue reform at domestic, maybe past his preliminary intentions. East German refugees in a sealed teach, heading via Prague to the West, November 1989. The Bolshevik Revolution begun with Lenin crossing Germany in a sealed teach, so sending Communist voters to freedom this manner was once altogether becoming. Prague, November 1989. Even the 'Velvet Revolution had its brutal prologue. yet outdoors Romania the transitions of 1989 observed little severe violence— maybe simply because many Communist cadres understood higher than their critics that those regimes have been doomed. Alexander Dubček and Václav Havel, Prague, November twenty fourth 1989. A plan to call Dubček President of postCommunist Czechoslovakia speedy aborted: to the revolutionaries of 1989—who selected Havel instead—the hero of 'reform Communism' used to be as inappropriate and dated as Stalinism itself.

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