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Europe in the Modern World

A New Narrative History Since 1500

Edward Berenson

Publication Date - September 2016

ISBN: 9780199840809

840 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $59.95

A Western Civ textbook that teaches history and effective writing at the same time


Europe in the Modern World: A New Narrative History Since 1500 is an unusually engaging narrative history of Europe since 1500. Written by an award-winning teacher and scholar, the narrative highlights the major episodes of the European past and vividly connects those episodes to major international events. Each chapter opens with a compelling biographical sketch--from Toussaint Louverture to Leni Riefenstahl--that gives the book's ideas a vibrant, human face, while "Writing History" exercises at the end of each chapter offer students step-by-step guidance toward effective, polished prose. Taken together, the end-of-chapter exercises constitute a powerful expository writing program unique to this book.

Europe in the Modern World pays considerably more attention to economic history than do other textbooks, demonstrating the role that economic developments--and the political, social, and cultural responses to them--play in shaping the political and social life of a given age. By taking politics and economics seriously while doing justice to social and cultural life, Europe in the Modern World explains the key phenomena of the Western past with clarity and verve. The book reads not like a typical academic text, but more like the best narrative history.

About the Author(s)

Edward Berenson is Professor of History at New York University, Director of NYU's Institute of French Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. He is the author or editor of seven books and a recipient of the American Historical Association's Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award and UCLA's Distinguished Teaching Award.


"Europe in the Modern World is a Western Civilization textbook for the twenty-first century, breathing new life into a genre that has become stale and sometimes irrelevant. The book combines compelling storytelling, structure, and a means for teaching history and effective writing at the same time. I've never seen a textbook that does this in a quarter century of teaching history surveys at the university level."--Paul Lockhart, Wright State University

"Berenson has pulled off an impressive feat in telling the story and explaining the significance of modern European history clearly, comprehensively, and concisely. Students will be drawn into each chapter by reading introductory vignettes about historical figures whose lives encapsulate the main themes of the period. Instructors and students alike will also find the self-directed writing exercises included at the end of each chapter to be an invaluable means of enhancing writing and thinking skills."--Geoffrey Clark, The State University of New York at Potsdam

"In the textbook market, there is a dearth of good, usable textbooks on European history from 1500 to the present. Edward Berenson has written one of the best--if not the best--textbook available today. It belongs on everyone's bookshelf, from freshmen in college to seasoned professors."--Ben Sorensen, Cape Fear Community College

"Europe in the Modern World is an innovative textbook that combines a compelling narrative with a rigorous step-by-step guide to historical writing. Its global framework is a much-needed alternative to traditional approaches to Western Civilization. Teachers and students will appreciate the effective integration of historical content and practical exercises."--Ute Chamberlin, Western Illinois University

Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    About the Writing History Exercises
    About the Author

    Biography: Europa
    What and Where Is Europe?
    Europe in 1450-1500
    Agriculture, Industry, and Trade in 1450-1500
    Religion, Culture, and Intellectual Life in 1450-1500
    The Structure of this Book

    Chapter 1: The Age of Religious Reform, 1490-1648
    Biography: Martin Luther
    The Beginnings of Religious Change
    The Protestand Reformation

    Luther and Religious Reforms in Germany
    Zwingli and the Radicalization of Religious Reform
    Thomas Müntzer's Radical Anabaptism
    --- Anabaptism and the Peasants' War
    --- The Politics of Religious Strife
    Predestination and the Creation of a Calvinist Church
    The French Religious Wars
    Ohter Calvinist Gains
    The Protestand Transformation in England
    The Catholic Reformation
    The Catholic Recovery
    The Council of Trent
    The Jesuits
    The Counter-Reformation
    The Thirty Years' War
    Reformation Society and Culture

    The Visual Arts
    Conclusion: The Reformation's Outcomes and Results
    Writing History: Coordination

    Chapter 2: States and Empires, 1500-1715
    Biography: Louis XIV
    Absolutism and Its Limits
    A New Nobility
    European Wars, 1660s to 1714
    Spain: Another Kingdom Submerged in Debt
    "Bureaucratic Absolutism" in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire
    Austria and Bohemia: The Limits of Habsburg Authority
    The Ottoman Empire
    Constitutional Regimes
    Poland and Hungary
    The Dutch Republic
    --- England's Road to Revolution and Civil War
    --- English Protestantism Divides in Two
    --- The English Civil War
    --- The English Revolution
    --- The Restoration
    The Portuguese Empire
    The Spanish Empire
    The Dutch Private Enterprise Empire
    The British Empire
    The French Empire
    Conclusion: The Failure of Absolutism
    Writing History: Subordination

    Chapter 3: Science and Enlightenment, 1600-1789
    Biography: Galileo
    A Scientific Revolution?
    The World as Machine
    The Experimental Model
    Descartes and the Quest for Certainty
    Isaac Newton: The Way Gravity Works
    "Enlightenment:" From the Natural World to the Study of Humankind
    "What is Enlightenment?"
    Natural Law and the Nature of Human Beings
    Locke, Mandeville, and the Scottish Enlightenment
    Rousseau and Natural Man
    Civilization and "Primitive" Man
    Rationality and the Critique of Religion
    National Differences in Enlightenment Thought
    Voltaire and the Critique of Religion in France
    The Theory and Practice of Government
    Women and the New Philosophy
    Conclusion: The Accomplishments of the Enlightenment
    Writing History: Thesis Statements

    Chapter 4: The Era of the French, Revolution, 1750-1815
    Biography: Toussaint L'ouverture
    Origins of the French Revolution
    The Financial Crisis
    The Political Crisis
    The Public Opinion Crisis
    The Crisis of Frustrated Expectations
    France's New Social Structure
    The Revolution
    The Revolution Takes Off
    The Great Fear
    The Revolution Settles In
    Religion and Revolution
    The End of the Monarchy
    Civil War and Terror
    The End of the Terror
    The Directory, 1794-99
    Britain, Russia, and the French Revolution
    Revolution in the French Empire
    Napoleon's European Empire
    Conclusion: The Legacy of the French Revolution
    Writing History: The thesis statement (X) and its supporting ideas (1-2-3)

    Chapter 5: The Industrial Revolution, 1750-1815
    Biography: Richard Arkwright
    Origins of the Industrial Revolution: Why Britain?
    Britain's Urban, Market-Oriented, High-Wage Economy
    The Agricultural Revolution
    Coal: The Revolution in Energy
    The Rise of Cotton
    The Mechanization of Industry
    The Industrial Revolution Moves Beyond Cotton
    Economic Development Outside of Britain
    The Cultural and Political Origins of the Industrial Revolution
    Social Consequences of the Industrial Revolution

    The Lives of Working People
    Economic Instability and Its Consequences
    Changes in Family Life
    The Factory, Workers and the Rise of the Labor Movement
    Economic Liberalism
    Conclusion: The Limits of Britain's Industrial Revolution
    Writing History: Cohesion across sentences

    Chapter 6: Conservation, Reform, and Revolution, 1815-1852
    Biography: George Sand
    The Congress of Vienna
    The Peace Settlement
    The Slave Trade
    New Ideologies of the Post-Revolutionary Period
    Political Systems and the Quest for Reform
    The Autocracies: Austria, Russia, and Prussia
    Prussia and the Non-Habsburg German States
    Revolution in Spain and Italy
    France: The Rise of Constitutional Monarchy
    The French Revolution of 1830
    Rebellions in the Low Countries, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and the Ottoman Empire
    Britain: Social Change and Political Reform
    1848: Europe in Revolution
    The Revolution Begins
    The Spread of Revolution
    Conclusion: The Meaning of 1848
    Writing History: Paragraph flow

    Chapter 7: From National Unificatoin to Religious Revival, 1850-1880
    Biography: Otto von Bismarck
    The New Industrialization
    A New Prosperity?
    Urbanizatoin and the Urban World
    The Redevlopment of Paris
    Europe's Worldwide Economic Role
    Political Change
    Prosperity and Empire in France
    The Crimean War
    The Eclipse of Russia
    National Unification
    The Unification of Italy
    The Unificaton of Germany
    Consequences of the German Unification
    --- The Creation of Austria-Hungary, 1867
    --- The New French Republic
    Marxism and the Opposition to Capitalism
    Trade Unions, Women's Rights, and the Rise of Socialist Parties
    Positivism, Evolution, and the Hegemony of Science
    Religion in the Modern World
    Popular Culture
    Conclusion: A New European Balance of Power
    Writing History: Text reconstruction

    Chapter 8: European Society
    and the Road to War, 1880-1914
    Biography: Maria Montessori
    Life and Death and the Movement of People
    Economic Change During the "Long Depression," 1873-93
    The Agricultural Crisis
    The Industrial Economy Matures
    Britain's Relative Decline
    Technology and the Flurry of Inventions
    Tariffs and the Rise of Economic Nationalism
    Politics and Political Change
    Britain: The Practice of Liberalism
    France: The Achievements of a Democratic Republic
    Germany: The Persistence of Authoritarian and Aristocratic Rule
    Social Reform in Germany
    Imperialism and Empire
    Why Imperialism?
    Nationalist Reactions to Imperialism
    The Empire at Home
    From Missionaries to the "Civilizing Mission"
    Russia, Austria, and the Balkans
    Austria-Hungary: A Slow Decline
    "Politics in a New Key:" Anti-Semitism and the Extreme Right
    Anti-Semitism in Russia and France
    The Dreyfus Affair
    Feminism and the New Woman
    Origins of the First World War

    The Road to War
    Morocco and the Balkans
    Conclusion: Europe Plunges Into the Abyss
    Writing History: Text reconstruction and composition

    Chapter 9: The First World War, 1914-1919
    Biography: Siegried Sassoon
    The Outbreak of War
    The Battles of the Marne and Ypres
    The Western Front
    Trench Warfare
    The Battles of Verdun and the Somme
    The Eastern Front
    The War Outside Europe and at Sea
    War in Africa and the Ottoman Empire
    The Middle Eastern Campaign
    The War Against Civilians
    German Responses to the Economic
    Consent for the War
    The Home Front
    Women's Contributions to the War
    Wartime Propoganda
    From Protest to Mutiny
    The American Intervention
    Both Sides Prepare for All-Out Victory
    The Allied Victory
    Germany's Aborted Revolution
    The Treaty of Versailles
    Conclusion: Results of the First World War
    Writing History: Paper reconstruction

    Chapter 10: The Russian Revolution and the Rise of the Soviet Union, 1905-1940
    Biography: Aleksandra Kollontai
    Origins of the Russian Revolution
    The Travails of Agricultural and Industrial Life
    The Radical Intelligentsia
    The Revolution of 1905
    The Russian Revolution
    Lenin and the Bolsheviks
    The Failure of the Moderate Revolution
    The New Soviet Regime
    The Russian
    Civil War
    Outcome of the Russian Civil War
    The Rise of the Soviet Union
    The New Economic Policy
    Stalin and the end of NEP
    Stalin's Revolution
    The Five-Year Plans
    The Social Consequences of Stalin's Revolution
    The Cultural Revolution
    The Great Purge
    Conclusion: The Rise of a Powerful Communist State
    Writing History: Analyzing and sorting material into main ideas

    Chapter 11: Fascism and Nazism: Mass Politics and Mass Culture, 1919-1939
    Biography: Leni Reifenstahl
    The Failure of Liberalism and Democracy After World War I
    The Fragility of Postwar Parliamentary Regimes
    Intellectuals' Disillusionment with Liberalism and Democracy
    The Dangers of Mass Politics
    The Rise of Fascism in Italy
    Italy Fascist
    Hitler and the Origins of the Nazi Movement
    Weimar Politics and the Rejection of Democracy
    Weimar's Undemocratic Institutions
    The Economic Crisis of 1923
    The Resolution of the German Crisis
    Media and Mass Culture in the Interwar Period
    The Cinema
    Women: Work, Domesticity, and the New "New Woman"
    The Great Depression
    The Nazi Take-Over
    The Nazi Regime
    The Consolidation of Nazi Power
    The Nazi Dictatorship
    The New Regime: Dissent and Consent
    The Persecution of the Jews
    Economic Achievements
    Leisure for the Masses
    Conclusion: The Fascist "Revolution?"
    Writing History: Creating the complex "noun phrases" of academic writing

    Chapter 12: The Second World War,
    Biography: Primo Levi
    The Enormity of the Second World War
    The Origins of the Second World War
    Political Economic Decline in Britain
    Economy and Politics in France
    Germany Overturns the Treaty of Versailles
    The Spanish Civil War
    The Incorporation of Austria, the Munich Pact, and the Seizure of Czechoslovakia
    Prelude to the Second World War
    The War -- Phase I: Hitler's Quest for Domination
    Hitler's Attack on the West
    From the Battle of Britain to the Early Campaigns in Greece, North Africa, and the Middle East
    Operation Barbarossa: The Invasion of Russia
    Hitler's Europe
    The Nazi Plans
    The Terrible Results
    The Exploitation of Europe
    Collaboration and Resistance
    The Case of France
    The Netherlands and Scandinavia
    Eastern Europe
    Communists and the Resistance: The Cases of Yugoslavia and Greece
    The Home Front in Britain and Germany
    The Holocaust
    The War -- Phase II: The Allies Turn the Tide
    The Role of the United States
    Stalingrad: The Great Turning Point of the War
    The Allied Invasions of the Continent
    The War -- Phase III: From the Liberation of France to the Surrender of Germany
    The Atom Bomb and the End of the War in the Pacific
    Conclusion: The Consequences of the War
    Writing History: Using passive voice, it-shifts, and what-shifts to tell your reader what matters most

    Chapter 13: The Postwar, 1945-1970
    Biography: Elizabeth II
    The Toll of the War
    Assessing Responsibility for the War
    The "German Question"
    Cold War and the Division of Europe
    Economic Recovery
    The Marshall Plan
    The "Economic Miracle"
    The Communist Take-Over in Eastern Europe
    The Hardening of the Cold War
    The Beginnings of European Cooperation
    Stalinist Politics and the Command Economy in Eastern Europe
    European Integration
    European Politics in the 1950s
    The End of Empire
    Southeast Asia
    South Asia
    The Middle East
    The Soviet Union and Its Satellites, 1956-1970s
    The Consumer Society
    Religious Reform
    Disillusionment with Democracy and Consumerism
    The Student Revolt
    The 1960s in the East
    The End of the Postwar Economic Miracle
    Conclusion: A European Continent Reshaped
    Writing History: Using parallelism to make complex
    ideas easier to read, easier to remember, and easier to believe

    Chapter 14: Economic Dilemmas, European Unity, and the Collapse of Communism, 1970-2010
    Biography: Mikhail Gorbachev
    Stagnation and Decline: the 1970s
    Immigration and the Mounting Hostility to Workers from Abroad
    Fixing Stagflation
    The Politics of Terror
    The New Democracy in Greece, Portugal, and Spain
    New Political Movements: Feminism, Gay Rights, and Environmentalism
    Dissent and Decline in Eastern Europe

    The Helsinki Accords
    Economic Stagnation in the East
    The Collapse of Communism
    Gorbachev's Dramatic Reforms
    1989: The End of Communism in Eastern Europe
    European Unification and Its Discontents
    The Break-up of the Soviet Union
    Violent Collapse of Yugoslavia
    The Challenges of Post-Communism
    German Reunification
    The Transformation in Eastern Europe and Russia
    Conclusion: A Fragile European Unity
    Writing History: Using coordination and subordination to find and fix common punctuation mistakes

    Epilogue: Europe in the 21st Century
    Biography: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    The New Terrorism in Europe
    Islam and the Russian Federation
    Russian Interventions in the Former Soviet Union
    The Crisis of the Eurozone

Featured Resources

Check out Berenson's interview with OUP here: