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Europe Since 1989

A History
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The year 1989 brought the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. It was also the year that the economic theories of Reagan, Thatcher, and the Chicago School achieved global dominance. And it was these neoliberal ideas that largely determined the course of the political, economic, and social changes that transformed Europe over the next quarter century.

The year 1989 brought the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. It was also the year that the economic theories of Reagan, Thatcher, and the Chicago School achieved global dominance. And it was these neoliberal ideas that largely determined the course of the political, economic, and social changes that transformed Europe over the next quarter century.

This award-winning book provides the first comprehensive history of post-1989 Europe. Philipp Ther offers a sweeping narrative filled with vivid details and memorable stories. He describes how liberalization, deregulation, and privatization had catastrophic effects on former Soviet Bloc countries. He refutes the idea that this economic "shock therapy" was the basis of later growth, arguing that human capital and the "transformation from below" determined economic success or failure. Most important, he shows how the capitalist West's effort to reshape Eastern Europe in its own likeness ended up reshaping Western Europe as well, in part by accelerating the pace and scope of neoliberal reforms in the West, particularly in reunified Germany. Finally, bringing the story up to the present, Ther compares events in Eastern and Southern Europe leading up to and following the 2008-9 global financial crisis.

©2014 Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin; English translation copyright 2016 by Princeton University Press (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[ Europe Since 1989]...is well-documented. It can be recommended to general readers and students of postcommunist history in Europe." ( Choice)

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A work of history rather than political science

The author gives a near endless list of post-1989 policies that he considers self-evidently bad or ill advised. He gives no anayses of the political and economic forces that shaped them. He also gives no explanation of why he thinks his preferred policies would ultimately be any more practical or sustainable. Although the book undoubtedly is comprehensive, it supplies no narrative that connects one policy to the next, which makes the content very difficult to get through and to retain.

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a book needed to be written

a very immersive book dealing with a topic less researched. very pleasent travel from recent history to current affairs. less chronology put together and a bit chaotically moving between places and times.