Rebirth: A Political History of Europe Since World War II

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Rebirth: A History of Europe Since World War II examines the transition of Europe from a period of crisis to an era of political confidence and economic strength. As the title suggests, the pervasive theme of the book is that of rebirth. The most recent decades are set in the context of modern European history as a whole. The authors trace the disillusionment and uncertainty that overcame Europe at the turn of the twentieth century and that culminated in the devastation of the Second World War. In their analysis of the political and economic causes of the renaissance that has followed the demise of the Cold War, the authors highlight the themes of national integration and economic modernization.The chapters are uniquely organized to present both international and domestic developments in Europe as coherent wholes as well as the importance of their interaction. The initial analysis of key international developments in the twentieth century helps students to understand the relationship between foreign and domestic events and provides background for the substantial discussion of the major European countries that follows in chapters devoted to each national experience. The political and economic histories of these nation-states are considered in terms of their individual traditions and challenges, and the authors explore difficult issues such as the overall costs and benefits of the scientific-technological revolution, the pursuit of social justice, the proper role of the state and of political parties, and contrasting national paths of economic and political development. Rebirth is designed as a text for use in courses on modern European history - especially twentieth-century Europe - and for students of comparative politics who are seeking a substantial consideration of the historical factors of European politics. In this revised edition, the authors have updated the text with an analysis of developments since 1991 and added recent scholarship to the lists of Suggested Readings.