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The Pursuit of Power Audiobook

The Pursuit of Power: Europe: 1815-1914

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Publisher's Summary

Richard J. Evans's gripping narrative ranges across a century of social and national conflicts, from the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 to the unification of both Germany and Italy, from the Russo-Turkish wars to the Balkan upheavals that brought this era of relative peace and growing prosperity to an end. Among the great themes it discusses are the decline of religious belief and the rise of secular science and medicine, the journey of art, music, and literature from Romanticism to Modernism, the replacement of old-regime punishments by the modern prison, and the dramatic struggle of feminists for women's equality and emancipation. Uniting the era's broad-ranging transformations was the pursuit of power in all segments of life, from the banker striving for economic power to the serf seeking to escape the power of his landlord, from the engineer asserting society's power over the environment to the psychiatrist attempting to exert science's power over human nature itself.

The first single-volume history of the century, this comprehensive and sweeping account gives the listener a magnificently human picture of Europe in the age when it dominated the rest of the globe.

©2016 Richard J. Evans (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (179 )
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4.2 (166 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Awake Tex Raleigh, NC 02-02-17
    Awake Tex Raleigh, NC 02-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Terrific comprehensive history"

    Evans's history of 19th century Europe should be required reading for anyone interested in how we came to the situation facing us in the 21st. The beginning of the book,with its focus on geopolitics, is slow going but worth the effort. Evans seems to cover everything: A rich social history that spans the continent from the end of the Napoleonic wars to the onset of WW1. Highly recommended.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 03-18-17
    James 03-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Thoroughly engaging"

    A well organized and thoughtful overview. It gave me great insight into this period. I did not realize how ignorant I was about this time with violence and hardship beyond scale we can comprehend.
    Great reader. His use of voices for historical characters brought life to the reading. The 45 hours went surprisingly fast.
    I would strongly recommend for any history student and any American who wants to better understand where as well as why our ancestors left

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cornelius L Cassady 02-19-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent"

    This was a thoroughly researched and in depth description of the turmoil in Europe which led to WW 1.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    howard bascom 01-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderful book. Excruciating narration"

    The book is very comprehensive,rich in detail,and very informative-history at its best-first rate.

    The narration is awkward and painful to listen to. When he pronounces German names he truly sounds like he is trying to clear a gnat out of his throat.

    His inflection is also horrible. For example when he says "Bismark" delivered with a way overdone guttural,gnat removing,affectation, he then paused as if to say to the listener,"isn't that delivery wonderful!". The second example of stilted inflection is much like the way Dr. Evil in Austin Powers would say the word "Laser". That is the word is so fascinating that it has the heaviest emphasis in the sentence.

    Though I just finished it,I'd gladly start it over and listen to it again but I can't bear to hear his inept delivery again

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George H. 12-25-16
    George H. 12-25-16
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    "Great book - gimmicky narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    40 hours of well-documented nineteenth century European history? Nuff said.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrator, who is otherwise fine, has a very distracting way of emphasizing the inline quotes by raising the urgency of his voice. It's an annoying gimmick that sounds like the quoted speakers are constantly interrupting his reading to yell at you from the past.Let us get the print edition to track the quotes. After all, the audio doesn't integrate the references, so it doesn't really matter whether something is narration or quote. In short - just read the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    40 straight hours of European history? Sounds like fun!


    Any additional comments?

    Someone tell Mr Ryan to dump the yelling trick and just read. He's a fine narrator in his own right. Lose the gimmicks.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas McCort wombat 01-28-17
    Thomas McCort wombat 01-28-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Lots of great detail and interpretation"

    This book provides extensive detail combined with interpretation and analysis of the main historical events and trends in the 19th century.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan north wales, PA, United States 01-23-17
    alan north wales, PA, United States 01-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "terrible reader, excellent book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Pursuit of Power the most enjoyable?

    A great history of Europe after Napoleon, by a historian of Germany. Unfortunately the reader pauses after every fifth or sixth word for no discernable reason, making this a very rocky choppy ride. Evans' history is best when most detailed, in the period leading up to the revolutions of 1830 and then 1848, followed by more cursory potted treatments of social, artistic, scientific, literary, musical, i.e. "cultural" milestones, and then we're suddenly at the turn of the century, rush through the Balkan wars, and its time for world war I. Nice exposition of some modern historiography - imperial atrocities in the colonies got imported into Europe, women's suffrage, etc.


    What didn’t you like about Napoleon Ryan’s performance?

    Pauses after every fifth or sixth word; it's like listening to hiccups.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dd Pyong-Yang, WA USA 12-19-16
    dd Pyong-Yang, WA USA 12-19-16 Member Since 2005

    dom il Sung

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    "Narrated by Napoleon How could you go wrong????"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Pursuit of Power to be better than the print version?

    yes


    What other book might you compare The Pursuit of Power to and why?

    guns of august


    Which scene was your favorite?

    bismark and the reunification of germany


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Napoleon's narration


    Any additional comments?

    Had no idea he was still alive.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey D Boozer 05-23-17
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    "Great History I Loved It Highly Recommend"
    What did you love best about The Pursuit of Power?

    This book is so comprehensive and I think accurate, I can apply it to current events, the same human issues exist today, only desquised by modern conditions. The author's use of a single person to help you understand, say, the life of a serf, was perfect. As was taking a topic like health or the industrial revolution and separating it from the constant wars that were going on. Marvelous, overall.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pursuit of Power?

    The descriptions of individual persons, their misbehavior and their fumbling with leadership skills they lacked, and the understanding of the feelings of others -- perfectly described.


    What about Napoleon Ryan’s performance did you like?

    I actually got into it, and loved his performance. Others might disagree, but I liked his British accent, and his sometimes use of dialect to make a part of the story less boring and repetitive. This is a massive amount of material, 82 chapters, 50 hours I suspect, he had a mammoth job to do, and I think he did it well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did not listen in one sitting, it took 40 sittings .. it is 82 chapters. I listen in the car, this is a serious book, real learning about human nature, and government and "how we got to where we are' in history, as nations, and how these 100 years are still affecting European borders, conflicts and hatreds.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone who likes history should love this -- different and in many ways better organized than most history books. Not quite at the level of Will Durant's work, but just as comprehensive and even more detailed. You live the book, not just read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara L. Bergin-Nader Austin, TX 05-10-17
    Barbara L. Bergin-Nader Austin, TX 05-10-17 Member Since 2015

    bbergin

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    "Best review of 19the century European history"

    I really enjoyed this audiobook and will listen to it or read it again. It was a tad politicized against conservative ideology, so the reader has to listen/watch for it and recognize the prejudice of the author. But I have a greater understanding of the situation leading up to WW1, which in turn leads to understanding of WW2, and even our current global situation. Must read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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