The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another 10 years....
The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the 20th century's most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten.
Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted-such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government-were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation.
In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved. Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe. Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places-particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France - they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities.
Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe toward the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come.
©2012 Keith Lowe (P)2012 Tantor
"Authoritative but never dry, stripping away soothing myths of national unity and victimhood, this is a painful but necessary historical task superbly done." (Kirkus)
Absolutely It tells the history of the aftermath of World War II one that we were not taught in school. Very well done. It goes well with Winter World. A must read
I just finished listening to this book & was very pleased with the way it was produced. The narrators voice was just perfect for this type of book. Felt like I was listening to a documentary on one of the History Channels. I read this book when it first came out in 2012 & having just joined Audible I am glad this was the first book I chose to listen to on this great app. So glad I revisited this story. I highly recommend this work. (As an afterthought.....if you enjoyed this book, then I highly recommend the authors other work on this period - "Inferno:The Bombing Of Hamburg").
I was expecting history of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, particularly right after the war. Rather I got a full depth history of West & East political fortunes and misfortunes.
I learned alot..well worth it.
Europe's history of the expulsion or elimination of ethnic groups is returning to haunt us just as immigration into Europe raises questions about the actual stability of multicultural states. "Savage Continent" reminds of of how and why modern Europe was shaped.
On the downside, the narrator is excellent except when he tries to imitate foreign accents to someone who speaks some of the languages it comes off as a phonetic muddle.
I couldn't get far enough with this narrator to even tell if this book was any good. Each time a German, Russian, or American was quoted, the narrator attempted to imitate their accent. Aside from being distracting, I'm pretty sure the narrator has never heard said nationalities. Or perhaps he watched an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle once. Whatever the case, his attempts at accents were so weird it was almost impossible to listen to what was being read
An objective review of the events and statistics of the end and aftermath of WWII. Although I'd expected more insights into Britain's role. Excellent narrator, more of a dramatist!
Very well researched, balanced, insightful, clearly told. Describes the anarchy throughout Europe in the years after the war and before there was a Marshall plan. Explores the many facets of chaos and destruction that occurred after the official end of hostilities, and explains the complexities of the situation without bogging down. Illuminates a very dark period that has been all but forgot but which has implications for today.
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