Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we are going to unlock the book "The Shortest History of Europe".
We know that there are many ancient civilizations from different parts of the world. Still, the foundations of modern civilization, namely democracy, the concept of human rights, and the industrial revolution, all originated in the recent history of Europe. Not only did these ideas affect Europe, but they have also had a profound impact on the development of the modern world. It begs the question: Why Europe? How did these foundations of civilization develop? And how did European civilization originally start?
We may have some background knowledge acquired from literary works and films. However, we might still be confused when talking about certain historical periods and events such as the "classical era," the "Middle Ages," the "Crusades," and the "Renaissance.” When thinking about history books, what comes to mind is voluminous works filled with long lists that include people, events, and timelines. It's easy for people to lose track of what they have just read, or they might simply lose interest after only a few pages. So, is it possible to quickly obtain a clear overall understanding of European history? The book "The Shortest History of Europe" provides us with an opportunity to do this.
The author of this book, John Hirst, was a professor of history at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. He was also a member of the Australian Prime Minister's Republic Advisory Committee and a council member of the National Museum of Australia. The content of this book was put together from Hirst’s many lectures designed for Australian college students. It organizes about 3,000 years of European history from ancient Greece to 1800 AD. Through the perspectives of wars, politics, and religion, this book lays out the history of European civilization like a map. It explains everything piece by piece, leaving us with a clear and systematic understanding of European history and civilization within a very short time.
To make it easier to understand, Hirst divided European history into three major periods. He first explored the classical era, which is the period before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476. He then moved on to the Middle Ages, which lasted from 476 to around 1400. Finally, the modern times section deals with the period after 1400. In the following Bookey, we’ll unlock the book following the order of these three historical periods.