Continental Shifts

For those who want to understand the course of contemporary Europe, the primary material is almost too copious and familiar; it takes a gifted historian to shape it into something fresh and coherent without sacrificing the details. A new book, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, by New York University professor and frequent commentator on European affairs Tony Judt, does just that. The tome weighs in at a doorstopping 878 pages, yet it offers a brilliant and compelling synthesis of the past 60 years — a period we think we know all too well.

The history of...

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