An absolutely amazing, and incredibly thorough, examination and unraveling of Europe in the years 1945-1989. Of course, by necessity, the book actually ranges well beyond these years, particularly back to the world wars, through the disillusion of the Soviet Union, and into the early 2000s. Judt manages to provide a comprehensive general history of postwar Europe, with examples and well-thought out analysis on everything from fiscal policy to music to consumer products to historiography. Obviously a must-read for anyone interested in 20th century European history, but also a very enjoyable book for any historian. The reader also does a fantastic job, reading at a consistent and even pace that keeps the reader interested without going too fast to follow.
I teach high school physics and read/listen to books in my free time. My favorite genres are history, sci fi, fantasy, and science writing.
It's in the middle for me. The author is great about covering all aspects of postwar history. The narration is beyond dull however. He does nothing to keep you listening, instead droning on in a near monotonous voice for 43 hours.
The coverage of the political and social changes wrought in Europe after the war. There was so much I didn't know. I especially liked the chapters on the EU and social democrats.
Having a narrator with some voice inflection.
God no. I'd sit for a full day even at double speed.
Hearing the evolution of Europe as we now know it.
Most interesting: The conditions existing that made the postwar treaties (esp Yalta) more understandable.
Least interesting: The harping on the European model for world government.
There were no real characters involved...
Was not moved
Many details and back stories about countries and political philosophies that help the listener better understand the competing values that were at stake before, during and for years following the war.It also helped me understand why the U.S. was able to become such a world power after the war.
Seemed to be obsessed with quoting numbers that, while startling, most of us aren't going to remember.
Monotone voice. No inflection just really flat.
That period of history couldn't possibly be as boring as it is presented in the book. Read like a textbook.
This is one of the best historical books I have read/listened to. Tony Judt is one of the finest minds in his field of his generation and comprehensively covers many areas of Postwar Europe.
It is superbly written and evidently exhaustively researched. Covers a lot of ground that I myself hadn't covered before and goes a long way in explaining the current Eastern European conflicts and the ground work for the EU and beyond. Whether you agree with Judt's conclusions or his standpoints is immaterial, there is no doubt in my mind that this book opens a lot of people's eyes on the Europe we had and why we have arrived at what we have now. I intend to read more of his books,
The narration, by Ralph Cosham (who I believe has done a few other of Judt's works is clear and intelligible.
I would not recommend this book. I enjoy reading history, and was excited about reading post-war history with which I am less familiar - though I have lived it. I found the reading exceedingly dull, and the amount of detail in each topic excessive. It's like the author just threw in everything he could find on a topic, then moved to the next topic without bring ideas or issues into an overall focus.
No - this one did me in.
Monotone, boring reading of tedious material.
no - a disappointment
Judt takes on perhaps the most ambitious historical task of his time--recounting half a century worth of globe spanning history. His achievement is truly remarkable. The book is brilliant and insightful from first to last and should be on everyone's reading list. Utterly breathtaking.
I'm a New Zealander with an interest in the arts and history
This is most definitely the best of Ralph's narrations I have listened to thus far - eve with the odd stammer and drop in .
A thorough and comprehensive work , never getting too caught up in minutiae nor muddled on timeline . Highly recommended to anyone with more than a peripheral interest in 20th century history .
The narrator has a pleasant voice, but was quite monotone, which made it difficult to pay attention. Despite my interest in the subject matter, a found myself occasionally zoning out and the narration becoming background noise.
Overall a well-written book that handles the millions of details with great efficiency. You never get the sense that the author is skipping over or brushing past one area over another. There's a good balance of the larger political issues and the experiences of everyday people.
Unfortunately, the narration doesn't do the writing justice. It turns a dense text into a laundry list.