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European history

See below for a selection of the latest books from European history category. Presented with a red border are the European history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great European history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France

In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France

Author: Olivier Lebleu Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2020

This engaging account traces the remarkable history of France's first giraffe, a diplomatic gift from Egyptian Pasha Muhammed-Ali to King Charles X in 1826. Zarafa, taken by boat from Egypt to Marseilles and walked all the way to Paris, was accompanied by her Arab handlers and a famous French naturalist. She drew vast crowds along her route, sparking a giraffomania that was widely documented in art and literature. Her initial journey and then long and celebrated residence in Paris encapsulates nineteenth-century French socio-political history and highlights the emerging evolutionary theories of the time. Over fifty illustrations from the period illuminate this rare encounter with a unique animal that is now endangered and deserving of our greater attention and understanding.

In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France

In the Footsteps of Zarafa, First Giraffe in France

Author: Olivier Lebleu Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2020

This engaging account traces the remarkable history of France's first giraffe, a diplomatic gift from Egyptian Pasha Muhammed-Ali to King Charles X in 1826. Zarafa, taken by boat from Egypt to Marseilles and walked all the way to Paris, was accompanied by her Arab handlers and a famous French naturalist. She drew vast crowds along her route, sparking a giraffomania that was widely documented in art and literature. Her initial journey and then long and celebrated residence in Paris encapsulates nineteenth-century French socio-political history and highlights the emerging evolutionary theories of the time. Over fifty illustrations from the period illuminate this rare encounter with a unique animal that is now endangered and deserving of our greater attention and understanding.

Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days

Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days

Author: Will Bashor Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2020

This compelling book begins on the 2nd of August 1793, the day Marie Antoinette was torn from her family's arms and escorted from the Temple to the Conciergerie, a thick-walled fortress turned prison. It was also known as the waiting room for the guillotine because prisoners only spent a day or two here before their conviction and subsequent execution. The ex-queen surely knew her days were numbered, but she could never have known that two and a half months would pass before she would finally stand trial and be convicted of the most ungodly charges. Will Bashor traces the final days of the prisoner registered only as Widow Capet, No. 280, a time that was a cruel mixture of grandeur, humiliation, and terror. Marie Antoinette's reign amidst the splendors of the court of Versailles is a familiar story, but her final imprisonment in a fetid, dank dungeon is a little-known coda to a once-charmed life. Her seventy-six days in this terrifying prison can only be described as the darkest and most horrific of the fallen queen's life, vividly recaptured in this richly researched history.

Paris on the Brink

Paris on the Brink

Author: Mary McAuliffe Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2020

Paris on the Brink vividly portrays the City of Light during the tumultuous 1930s, from the Wall Street Crash of 1929 to war and German Occupation. This was a dangerous and turbulent decade, during which workers flexed their economic muscle and their opponents struck back with increasing violence. As the divide between haves and have-nots widened, so did the political split between left and right, with animosities exploding into brutal clashes, intensified by the paramilitary leagues of the extreme right. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini escalated the increasingly hazardous international environment, while the civil war in Spain added to the instability of the times. Yet throughout the decade, Paris remained at the center of cultural creativity. Major figures on the Paris scene, such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Andre Gide, Marie Curie, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, and Coco Chanel, continued to hold sway, in addition to Josephine Baker, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, Man Ray, and Le Corbusier. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre could now be seen at their favorite cafes, while Jean Renoir, Salvador Dali, and Elsa Schiaparelli came to prominence, along with France's first Socialist prime minister, Leon Blum. Despite the decade's creativity and glamour, it remained a difficult and dangerous time, and Parisians responded with growing nativism and anti-Semitism, while relying on their Maginot Line to protect them from external harm. Through rich illustrations and evocative narrative, Mary McAuliffe brings this extraordinary era to life.

Women Political Prisoners after the Spanish Civil War

Women Political Prisoners after the Spanish Civil War

Author: Ruth Fisher Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2020

The Soviet Writers' Union and Its Leaders

The Soviet Writers' Union and Its Leaders

Author: Carol Any Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Members of the Soviet Writers' Union who championed the state were rewarded with elite status and material luxuries. This book argues that Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin chose union leaders, such as Maxim Gorky and Alexandr Fadeyev, whose psychologies he could exploit. Stalin ensured their loyalty with various rewards but also with a philosophical argument to assure that one was not trading ethics for self interest. Employing close textual analysis of public and private documents, including speeches, debate transcripts, personal letters, and diaries, Carol Any exposes the misgivings of Writers' Union leaders as well as the arguments they constructed when faced with a cognitive dissonance. She tells a dramatic story that reveals the interdependence of literary policy, communist morality, state sponsored terror, party infighting, and personal psychology.

The Soviet Writers' Union and Its Leaders

The Soviet Writers' Union and Its Leaders

Author: Carol Any Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Members of the Soviet Writers' Union who championed the state were rewarded with elite status and material luxuries. This book argues that Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin chose union leaders, such as Maxim Gorky and Alexandr Fadeyev, whose psychologies he could exploit. Stalin ensured their loyalty with various rewards but also with a philosophical argument to assure that one was not trading ethics for self interest. Employing close textual analysis of public and private documents, including speeches, debate transcripts, personal letters, and diaries, Carol Any exposes the misgivings of Writers' Union leaders as well as the arguments they constructed when faced with a cognitive dissonance. She tells a dramatic story that reveals the interdependence of literary policy, communist morality, state sponsored terror, party infighting, and personal psychology.

The Germans and Europe

The Germans and Europe

Author: Peter Millar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Based on a lifetime living in and reporting on Germany and Central Europe, award-winning journalist and author Peter Millar tackles the fascinating and complex story of the people at the heart of our continent. Focussing on nine cities (only six of which are in the Germany of today) he takes us on a zigzag ride back through time via the fall of the Berlin Wall through the horrors of two world wars, the patchwork states of the Middle Ages, to the splendour of Charlemagne and the fall of Rome, with side swipes at everything on the way, from Henry VIII to the Spanish Empire. Included are mini portraits of aspects of German culture from sex and money to food and drink. Not just a book about Germany but about Europe as a whole and how we got where we are today, and where we might be tomorrow.

Retribution

Retribution

Author: Prit Buttar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Making use of the extensive memoirs of German and Russian soldiers to bring this story to life, Retribution follows on from On A Knife's Edge, which described the encirclement and destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and the offensives and counter offensives that followed throughout the winter of 1942-43. Beginning towards the end of the Battle of Kursk, Retribution tells the story of the massive Soviet offensive that followed the end of Operation Zitadelle, which saw depleted and desperate German troops forced out of Western Ukraine. In this title, critically acclaimed Eastern Front expert Prit Buttar describes in detail the little-known series of near-constant battles that saw a weakened German army confronted by a tactically sophisticated force of over six million Soviet troops. As a result, the Wehrmacht was driven back to the Dnepr and German forces remaining in the Kuban Peninsula south of Rostov were forced back into the Crimea, a retreat which would become one of many in the months that followed.

African Europeans

African Europeans

Author: Olivette Otele Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Africans and African Europeans are widely believed to be only a recent presence in Europe, a feature of our 'modern' society. But as early as the third century, St Maurice--an Egyptian-- became the leader of a legendary Roman legion. Ever since, there have been richly varied encounters between those defined as 'Africans' and those called 'Europeans', right up to the stories of present-day migrants to European cities. Though at times a privileged group that facilitated exchanges between continents, African Europeans have also had to navigate the hardships of slavery, colonialism and their legacies. Olivette Otele uncovers the long history of Europeans of African descent, tracing an old and diverse African heritage in Europe through the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary. This hidden history explores a number of questions very much alive today. How much have Afro-European identities been shaped by life in Europe, or in Africa? How are African Europeans' stories marked by the economics, politics and culture of the societies they live in? And how have race and gender affected those born in Europe, but always seen as Africans? 'African Europeans' is a landmark celebration of this integral, vibrantly complex slice of European history.

On Civilization's Edge

On Civilization's Edge

As a resurgent Poland emerged at the end of World War I, an eclectic group of Polish border guards, state officials, military settlers, teachers, academics, urban planners, and health workers descended upon Volhynia, an eastern borderland province that was home to Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews. Its aim was not simply to shore up state power in a place where Poles constituted an ethnic minority, but also to launch an ambitious civilizing mission that would transform a poor Russian imperial backwater into a region that was at once civilized, modern, and Polish. Over the next two decades, these men and women recast imperial hierarchies of global civilization-in which Poles themselves were often viewed as uncivilized-within the borders of their supposedly anti-imperial nation-state. As state institutions remained fragile, long-debated questions of who should be included in the nation re-emerged with new urgency, turning Volhynia's mainly Yiddish-speaking towns and Ukrainian-speaking villages into vital testing grounds for competing Polish national visions. By the eve of World War II, with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union growing in strength, schemes to ensure the loyalty of Jews and Ukrainians by offering them a conditional place in the nation were replaced by increasingly aggressive calls for Jewish emigration and the assimilation of non-Polish Slavs. Drawing on research in local and national archives across four countries and utilizing a vast range of written and visual sources that bring Volhynia to life, On Civilization's Edge offers a highly intimate story of nation-building from the ground up. We eavesdrop on peasant rumors at the Polish-Soviet border, read ethnographic descriptions of isolated marshlands, and scrutinize staged photographs of everyday life. But the book's central questions transcend the Polish case, inviting us to consider how fears of national weakness and competitions for local power affect the treatment of national minorities, how more inclusive definitions of the nation are themselves based on exclusions, and how the very distinction between empires and nation-states is not always clear-cut.

Spain at War

Spain at War

Author: James Matthews Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/10/2020

Spain's principal and most devastating war during the 20th century was, unusually for most of Europe, an internal conflict. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939 two competing armies - the insurgent and counterrevolutionary Nationalist Army and the Republican Popular Army - engaged in a conflict to impose their version of Spanish identity and the right to shape the country's future. In its aftermath, Francoist Spain remained on a war footing for the duration of the Second World War. In spite of the unabated flood of books on the Spanish Civil War and its consequences, historians of Spain in the 20th century have focused relatively little on the interaction of society and culture, and their roles in wartime mobilization. Spain at War addresses this omission through an examination of individual experiences of conflict and the mobilization of society. This edited volume acknowledges the agency of low-ranking individuals and the impact of their choices upon the historical processes that shaped the conflict and its aftermath. In doing so, this new military history provides a more complex and nuanced understanding of Spain's most intense period of wartime cultural mobilization between the years 1936 to 1944 and challenges traditional political accounts of the period.