The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Major shifts swept Europe in the century between the fall of Napoleon in 1815 and the beginning of The Great War in 1915. This book examines these changes with an analytical eye, identifying the broad trends that occurred across the continent yet are often overlooked in histories with a more limited geographic scope. And that is the delight of this volume. Richard Evans has taken as his subject the entirety of the European continent and pursues these changes thematically. Readers may be familiar with the French revolutions of 1848, for example; but Evans shows how and why revolutions occurred this same year in many other countries as well. The political unrest and upheaval was accompanied (and informed) by other changes, such as advances in science and the rise in power of the middle classes; these in turn drove improvements in education, health, and city planning. Other changes, such as a relative period of peace during the last half of the 19th century, had an interesting impact on cultural beliefs and practices. Readers will find refreshing the focus on everyday life as it changed throughout the century. This book is an excellent guide to the major changes that led into the modern era.
Richard J. Evans