‘A scintillating, encyclopaedic history, rich in detail from the arcane to the familiar… a veritable tour de force’ Richard Overy, New Statesman
‘Transnational history at its finest … .. social, political and cultural themes swirl together in one great canvas of immense detail and beauty’ Gerard DeGroot, The Times
‘Dazzlingly erudite and entertaining’ Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times
A masterpiece which brings to life an extraordinarly turbulent and dramatic era of revolutionary change.
The Pursuit of Power draws on a lifetime of thinking about nineteenth-century Europe to create an extraordinarily rich, surprising and entertaining panorama of a continent undergoing drastic transformation. The book aims to reignite the sense of wonder that permeated this remarkable era, as rulers and ruled navigated overwhelming cultural, political and technological changes. It was a time where what was seen as modern with amazing speed appeared old-fashioned, where huge cities sprang up in a generation, new European countries were created and where, for the first time, humans could communicate almost instantly over thousands of miles. In the period bounded by the Battle of Waterloo and the outbreak of World War I, Europe dominated the rest of the world as never before or since: this book breaks new ground by showing how the continent shaped, and was shaped by, its interactions with other parts of the globe.
Richard Evans explores fully the revolutions, empire-building and wars that marked the nineteenth century, but the book is about so much more, whether it is illness, serfdom, religion or philosophy. The Pursuit of Power is a work by a historian at the height of his powers: essential for anyone trying to understand Europe, then or now.