I have both the print and the audio editions of this book. I have abandoned the print version, which is a terrifically well-written book, because Ralph Cosham's narration takes the book to a whole other level. Judt's book is an intellectual and literary delight, but Cosham's narration transforms the book almost into opera. His voice is melodious and his delivery creates a drama out of history.
I am a devout reader of all things World War related-non fiction leavened with fiction.
Back and forth-facts and impressions. This book by the incomparable Mr. Judt from whom sadly we will not hear from again, filled in so many gaps in my understanding. It truly brings to life the enormity of WW2 in a way I'd not experienced previously. The postwar effect. Life does not simply return to normal when the guns stop.
The narrator was a tad too 'scholarly' in tone for my listening taste. It took me longer than usual to listen to this book than I expected due to the slightly monotonous delivery of the narrator.
Generally, an excellent and important book
I strongly recommend for perspective on European attitudes and relations with USA today.
Description of the fall of communism after 1989.
This book covers a lot of ground, for a lot of countries, but does an adequate job of giving at once the general historical and cultural trends, and enough detail of the personalities and events that shaped the era. The book stops around 2005, however, before the current economic difficulties. This would be an entire new chapter because as of 2005 Europe was in the ascendency, optimistic and successful. What a difference 5 years can make. As we leave the narrative, Europe is more anti-American, richer and confident that it is now. I urge Mr. Judt to update his book with a sequal or second edition to cover more recent events.
This book covers a very broad topic and does so extremely well. The political history of Europe since WWII is fascinating. It is also relevant to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of many important current issues and struggles in this region of the world.
This material requires real attention and focus by the listener. If you have the opportunity to approach it with this understanding, it is well worth your while.
The story of Europe itself is compelling
Get a different narrator.
I could barely stand to listen to this narrator drone on with the facts and figures that so permeate this book. I am not sure any narrator could bring the book to life, but this reader detracted to the point that my wife would ask me to plug in headphones so she didn't have to listen to it.
Say something about yourself!
Long and sometimes wordy BUT if you love History this will satisfy you completely.
It is a fascinating story
I'm a relative newcomer to listening to non-fiction via audio books. However, I felt the production of the audio book suffered from serious deficiencies. I'm not fingering the narrator by any means - I felt the audio quality of his voice was quite good. My complaint stems from the literalness of transferring the written text to audio and in doing so not providing sufficient structure and delineation that is normally provided through visual means such as font and a table of contents.
The delineation between chapters was often hard to follow and very easy to miss as the narrator voice did not change tone and simply said "5 the beginning of the cold war" ... no pause between text, no music, no other audio means of delineating a chapter start and stop. Annoying.
My second gripe is that with non-fiction I like to know the structure of what is coming , i.e. the authors break down in their analysis of the topic. This was sorely lacking and I really felt this book could have done with a small section sprinlked throughout the book detailed the structure of the book (i.e. a verbal table of contents)
Having learned history only through the lens of the American experience and point of view, I have never really understood why there was so much resentment towards Americans. This book is written by a Brit and offers insight to the experience of the Europeans during and after WWII.
Most of the information was from a new point of view and offered a different perspective than I could not have developed on my own by consuming history written by Americans.
The book seems to skip about, but it is only a literary tool used to keep the timeline synchronized as the author worked each country into the history. At some points it was a little difficult to follow and there were some parts that seemed disingenuous, but that is only my opinion based on my perspective.
Outstanding book, fantastic education and it was well read. I completely enjoyed it.
Top tier history audiobook. Struck the ideal balance between detail and broadstroke trends.
Up until this audiobook my exposure to history ended at WW2 and my awareness of current events of european politics began in the late 1980's. The massive changes occuring in western and especially eastern europe was essentially unknow to me. Tony Judt clarified the tumultous post war years with clarity despite juggling many different story lines (eastern vs western, social vs political) at the same time.
very comprehensive. discussed many topics.
very detailed overview of the topic, considering the shear breadth of the work.