Thursday, May 13, 2010

Worthy read

I have greatly enjoyed Anthony Beevor's books on 20th century European history.  His latest (with Artemis Cooper), Paris, After the Liberation 1944-1949, may be my favorite.  Here is part of the summation:
The close of 1949 marks an obvious end to the immediate post-war periond, but the great issues of that time did not of course finish with the decade.  The three main ones coveerd in this book -- the Occupation, and the epuration as part of the guerre franco-francaise; the intelligentsia's admiration for revolutionary ruthlesness; and France's complex relationship with th U.S. -- either continued to affect Parisian life or resurfaced later.
That's quite a chunk of history to do justice to in just under 400 pages, but the authors do it beautifully.  Europe's convulsions of the 20th century will be a subject of interest for a long time, but this book offers an easily readable and well documented explanation of a big portion of what went on.

The current bailout of Greece may signal yet another new chapter.  A better grasp of the previous chapters is timely.