Jacket for 'Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present'


UK - Penguin
USA - Perseus
China - Citic
Croatia - Mate
Czech Republic - Prostor
Germany - Deutsche Verlagsanstalt
Korea - Apple Media
Portugal - Edicoes 70
Romania - Polirom
Russia - AST

Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present

By Brendan Simms

Published Apr 2013

At the heart of Europe’s history lies a puzzle. In most of the world humankind has created enormous political frameworks, whether ancient (such as China) or modern (such as the United States). Sprawling empires, kingdoms or republics appear to be the norm. By contrast, Europe has remained stubbornly chaotic and fractured, often into tiny pieces, with each serious attempt to unify the continent (by Charles V, Napoleon, Hitler and perhaps now the European Union) thwarted.

In this ambitious and exciting new book, Brendan Simms tells the story of Europe’s constantly shifting geopolitics and the peculiar circumstances that have made the continent so impossible to dominate, but also so dynamic and ferocious. It is the story of a group of highly competitive and mutually suspicious monarchies and republics, whose rivalries drove the process of overseas expansion, especially in the Americas. It is also the story of a continent increasingly prone to interference from apparently ‘semi-detached’ elements, such as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain and (just as centrally to Simm’s argument) the United States.

At the heart of the book lies Germany: the region that to the present remains Europe’s great dynamo. Its wealth, population and central position have in its long periods of weakness made it a tempting target for predators, and it its periods of strength made it an overwhelming threat to the rest of the continent.

Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy will become the standard work on this crucial subject – and an extremely enjoyable, surprising and vivid one. As Europe’s future seems once more disturbingly unclear, this could not be a more timely book.