Modern history

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Europe in 1945 was prostrate. Much of the continent was devastated by war, mass slaughter, bombing and chaos. Large areas of Eastern Europe were falling under Soviet control, exchanging one despotism for another. Today, the Soviet Union is no more and the democracies of the European Union reach as far as the borders of Russia itself.

Postwar tells the rich and complex story of how we got from there to here. Running right up to the Iraq war and the election of Benedict XVI, Postwar makes sense of Europe's recent history and identity, of what Europe is and has been. It is nothing less than a masterpiece.

Shortlisted for the Pulitzer and Samuel Johnson Prizes.

Winner of the Arthur Ross Book Award.

Preface & Acknowledgements


PART ONE - Post-War: 1945-1953

Chapter 1: The Legacy of War

Chapter 2: Retribution

Chapter 3: The Rehabilitation of Europe

Chapter 4: The Impossible Settlement

Chapter 5: The Coming of the Cold War

Chapter 6: Into the Whirlwind

Chapter 7: Culture Wars

CODA - The End of Old Europe

PART TWO - Prosperity and Its Discontents: 1953-1971

Chapter 8: The Politics of Stability

Chapter 9: Lost Illusions

Chapter 10: The Age of Affluence

POSTSCRIPT: A Tale of Two Economies

Chapter 11: The Social Democratic Moment

Chapter 12: The Spectre of Revolution

Chapter 13: The End of the Affair

PART THREE - Recessional: 1971-1989

Chapter 14: Diminished Expectations

Chapter 15: Politics in a New Key

Chapter 16: A Time of Transition

Chapter 17: The New Realism

Chapter 18: The Power of the Powerless

Chapter 19: The End of the Old Order

PART FOUR - After the Fall: 1989-2005

Chapter 20: A Fissile Continent

Chapter 21: The Reckoning

Chapter 22: The Old Europe—and the New

Chapter 23: The Varieties of Europe

Chapter 24: Europe as a Way of Life

Epilogue: From the House of the Dead


If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!