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The Shortest History of Europe

How Conquest, Culture, and Religion Forged a Continent

By John Hirst

Three millennia of history on a momentous, world-changing continent, distilled into 208 thrilling pages, from The Shortest History series!

Celebrated historian John Hirst draws from his own lectures to deliver this ultra-accessible master class on the making of modern Europe, from Ancient Greece through World War II. With over 600,000 copies sold worldwide, this brief history is a global sensation propelled by a thesis of astonishing simplicity: Just three elements—German warfare, Greek and Roman culture, and Christianity—come together to explain everything else, from the Crusades to the Industrial Revolution. Hirst’s razor-sharp grasp of cause and effect helps us see with sparkling clarity how the history of Europe—the crucible of liberal democracy—shapes the way we live today.

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Review quotes
“Crisp, lucid, and evocative.”Australian Book Review
“A wise, illuminating little book.”The Sydney Morning Herald
“An entertaining, learned piece of historical compression.”The Age
“Beautifully and sparely constructed, yet rich in fact, feeling and detail, sweeping, challenging and funny.”—James Button, journalist and edito
“Great stuff, the book as a whole is constantly thought-provoking.”Courier Mail
Product Details
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Publication date
November 08, 2022