Crossroads of European Histories
This publication contains thirty-five papers written by European historians in relation to five key periods in European history: the year of revolutions 1848, the Balkan wars of 1912-13, the search for peace in 1919, the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War in 1945, and the events of 1989-90 in central and eastern Europe. The papers are drawn from five conferences organised by the Council of Europe based on the principles of Recommendation Rec (2001) 15 on European history teaching. They consider events based on the concept of 'multiperspectivity' which seeks to facilitate an open approach to historical debate based on critical analysis of different perspectives of historical developments, often involving controversial and sensitive issues. This publication is complemented by two related titles: a teaching manual and a DVD of original documents.
Crossroads of European Histories
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Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history. “Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties. Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history—the Romans’ fascination with Greek civilization dates back to their sack of Sicily—and tells the story of one of the world’s most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way. This volume has been a long time coming—Norwich began to explore Sicily’s colorful history during his first visit to the island in the early 1960s. The dean of popular historians leads his readers through the millennia with the steady narrative hand of a master teacher or the world’s most learned tour guide. Like the island itself, Sicily is a book brimming with bold flavors that begs to be revisited again and again. Praise for Sicily “Suavely readable . . . The very model of a popular historian, [Norwich] writes to give pleasure to the common reader. And what pleasure it is.”—The Wall Street Journal “Entertaining on every page . . . There is something ancient and sorrowful in Sicily, ‘some dark, brooding quality,’ just as captivating as its spellbinding history or its beautiful and varied landscapes, from beaches to lemon groves, pine forests to volcanoes. . . . The most amiable and freewheeling of guides, Norwich will always find time for the amusing anecdote.”—The Sunday Times “Utterly engrossing . . . written with passion about the art and architecture of this magical island, filled with gossipy tidbits and sweeping historical theories.”—The Daily Beast “Dazzling . . . Norwich is an elegantly graceful and entertaining storyteller.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Charming . . . richly nuanced history relayed with enormous fondness.”—Kirkus Reviews “A brisk and always-lively tour.”—Open Letters Monthly “Norwich is deeply in love with Sicily. [His] boundless affection has inspired a determined effort to understand its painful past. The result is impressionistic, as love often is.”—The Times “Norwich sketches personalities vividly. . . . He does the island and the reader a generous service in providing such an amiable introduction.”—The Sunday Telegraph “Norwich tells [Sicily’s] long, sad but fascinating story with sympathy and brio.”—Literary Review From the Hardcover edition.
Theology Politics and Letters at the Crossroads of European Civilization
The Character of Seventeenth-Century French Protestantism and the Place of the Huguenot Refuge following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes Thirty-seven years ago the late Emile-G. Leonard regretted that there were so few historical studies of seventeenth-century French Protestantism and no general 1 historical synthesis for the period as a whole. At the time Leonard's observation was accurate. Seventeenth-century French Protestantism traditionally remained a questionable and problematical subject for historians. All too frequently historians neglected it in favor of emphasizing its origins in the second-half of the sixteenth century and its renascence since the French Revolution. When the rare historian broke his silence and considered French Protestantism in the seventeenth-century, was meager and generally ambivalent or negative. The historiographer his treatment of seventeenth-century French Protestantism could only cite the outstanding works of Jean Pannier and Orentin Douen, which taken together emphasized the new pre eminence of Parisian Protestantism in the seventeenth century, and the genuine works of synthesis by John Vienot and Matthieu Lelievre, which again had to be placed side by side in order to complete coverage of the whole of the seventeenth 2 century. The only true intellectual history of seventeenth-century French Protestantism was the study by Albert Monod, which, however, dealt with the second-half of the century and, then, only in the broad context of both Protestant 3 and Catholic thought responding to the challenge of modern rationalism.
Crossroads of Freedom
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian McPherson offers a masterful portrait of the bloodiest single day in American history, the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862.
Empire s Crossroads
Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria onto what is today San Salvador, in the Bahamas, and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, British American historian Carrie Gibson traces the story of this coveted area from the northern rim of South America up to Cuba, and from discovery through colonialism to today, offering a vivid, panoramic view of this complex region and its rich, important history. After that fateful landing in 1492, the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, and even the Swedes, Scots, and Germans sought their fortunes in the islands for the next two centuries. Some failed spectacularly: a poorly executed settlement in Panama led the Scots to lose their own independence to England. The Spaniards were the first to find prosperity, in Mexico but also along the islands. In Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, they built grandiose cathedrals and extracted shipfuls of gold and silver, which English, French, and Dutch pirates were happy to seize. But precious metals weren’t a sustainable export—the colonizers needed something that was, and they would need hordes of slaves to cultivate it. The Caribbean’s first cash crop, one indigenous to the New World, was tobacco, and it, along with sugar, spurred expensive new addictions back in Europe. Gibson argues that immaterial exports were just as important. No other region of the world has experienced such a vibrant mixing of cultures, religions, and peoples—Africans, Europeans, Asians, and Amerindians created amazingly dynamic Creole societies that complicated traditional ideas about class and race. By the end of the eighteenth century, seventy thousand free blacks and mulattos lived in the British islands alone, and it was in the Caribbean that the world’s only successful slave revolt took place—sparking the meteoric rise of Napoleon’s black counterpart, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and the Haitian Revolution. The Caribbean island of St. Eustatius had been the first to recognize the United States as a nation, but the Americans were soon vying for their own imperial stronghold in the West Indies, attempting to control Cuba and backing influential corporations, most notably United Fruit. In the twentieth century, most of the islands broke from the imperial traditions that had lorded over them for four centuries: this would be the explosive age of decolonization and “banana republics,” of racial riots and négritude, of Cold War politics and tourist crowds. At every step of her expansive story, Gibson wields fascinating detail to combat the myths that have romanticized this region as one of uniform white sand beaches where the palm trees always sway. Evocatively written and featuring a whole cast of cosmopolitan characters, Empire’s Crossroads reinterprets five centuries of history that have been underappreciated for far too long.
A Concise History of Switzerland
Despite its position at the heart of Europe and its quintessentially European nature, Switzerland's history is often overlooked within the English-speaking world. This comprehensive and engaging history of Switzerland traces the historical and cultural development of this fascinating but neglected European country from the end of the Dark Ages up to the present. The authors focus on the initial Confederacy of the Middle Ages; the religious divisions which threatened it after 1500 and its surprising survival amongst Europe's monarchies; the turmoil following the French Revolution and conquest, which continued until the Federal Constitution of 1848; the testing of the Swiss nation through the late nineteenth century and then two World Wars and the Depression of the 1930s; and the unparalleled economic and social growth and political success of the post-war era. The book concludes with a discussion of the contemporary challenges, often shared with neighbours, that shape the country today.
For more than two millennia Istanbul has stood at the crossroads of the world, perched at the very tip of Europe, gazing across at the shores of Asia. The history of this city—known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, now Istanbul—is at once glorious, outsized, and astounding. Founded by the Greeks, its location blessed it as a center for trade but also made it a target of every empire in history, from Alexander the Great and his Macedonian Empire, to the Romans and later the Ottomans. At its most spectacular, Istanbul was re-founded by Emperor Constantine I as New Rome, the capital of the eastern Roman Empire. He dramatically expanded the city, filling it with artistic treasures, and adorning the streets with opulent palaces. Constantine built new walls around it all—walls that were truly impregnable and preserved power, wealth, and withstood any aggressor—walls that still stand for tourists to visit. From its ancient past to the present, we meet the city through its ordinary citizens—the Jews, Muslims, Italians, Greeks, and Russians who used the famous baths and walked the bazaars, and the rulers who built it up and then destroyed it, including Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the man who christened the city "Istanbul" in 1930. Thomas Madden's entertaining narrative brings to life the city we see today, including the rich splendor of the churches and monasteries that spread throughout the city. Istanbul draws on a lifetime of study and the latest scholarship, transporting readers to a city of unparalleled importance and majesty that holds the key to understanding modern civilization. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital."
Edge of Empires
Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia is a country of rainforests and swamps, snow and glaciers, and semi-arid plains. It has ski resorts and mineral springs, monuments and an oil pipeline. It also has one of the longest and most turbulent histories in the Christian or Near Eastern world, but no comprehensive, up-to-date account has been written about this little-known country—until now. Remedying this omission, Donald Rayfield accesses a mass of new material from recently opened archives to tell Georgia’s absorbing story. Beginning with the first intimations of the existence of Georgians in ancient Anatolia and ending with today’s volatile President Saakashvili, Rayfield deals with the country’s internal politics and swings between disintegration and unity, and divulges Georgia’s complex struggles with the empires that have tried to control, fragment, or even destroy it. He describes the country’s conflicts with Xenophon’s Greeks, Arabs, invading Turks, the Crusades, Genghis Khan, the Persian Empire, the Russian Empire, and Soviet totalitarianism. A wide-ranging examination of this small but colorful country, its dramatic state-building, and its tragic political mistakes, Edge of Empires draws our eyes to this often overlooked nation.
Crossroads of the Natural World
In this richly illustrated love letter to the wild places and natural wonders of North Carolina, Tom Earnhardt, writer and host of UNC-TV's Exploring North Carolina and lifelong conservationist, seamlessly ties deep geological time and forgotten species from our distant past to the unparalleled biodiversity of today. With varied topography and a climate that is simultaneously subtropical, temperate, and subarctic, he shows that North Carolina is a meeting place for living things more commonly found far to the north and south. Highlighting the ways in which the state is a unique ecological crossroads, Earnhardt's research, insightful writing, and stunning photography will both teach and inspire. Crossroads of the Natural World invites readers to engage a variety of topics, including the impacts of invasive species, the importance of forested buffers along our rivers, the role of naturalists, and the challenges facing the state in a time of climate change and sea-level rise. By sharing his own journey of more than sixty years, Earnhardt entices North Carolinians of every age to explore the natural diversity of our state.