History of the Present: Dispatches from Europe

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9780375503535: History of the Present: Dispatches from Europe
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In a new collection of articles, interviews, and essays, the author of The File offers a firsthand record of the dramatic history of the final decade on the twentieth century in Europe, describing such key events as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of democracy in Eastern Europe, and the European monetary union. 15,000 first printing.

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Review:

In the 1980s, Timothy Garton Ash was a respected Central Europe reporter, his books The Uses of Adversity, We the People and The Polish Revolution required reading on the area, but still very much a specialised field. Over the last decade, Europe's supposed margins have forced their way centre stage, and everyone wants to know, needs to know about Lech Walesa's fall from power in Poland, why Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia crumbled into pieces, about Bosnia and Kosovo, where Russia is going. These are the stories that now fill our front pages, and dominate discussions in Brussels and beyond. History of the Present is a series of 29 essays, sketches and dispatches filed during the 1990s, its title coined by George Kennan in an attempt to capture the uniqueness of Garton Ash's work--at once journalistically contemporary, and yet with a real sense of historical perspective usually only found with that handily sure-footed guide, hindsight. Some of the pieces are now "outdated" in a narrow news sense, but all the more valuable for that--history-with-hindsight will inevitably iron out all the telling creases that Garton Ash records. What he produces is, in his own word, a "kaleidoscope" that eludes crass summary, but even so he concludes with some wise words on what Europe might now mean at the end of the decade. We should all read this book. --Alan Stewart

Review:

" This is a kind of writing-- it could be called the history of the present-- for which it is not easy to find examples in earlier literature. . . . Garton Ash is, in the most literal sense of the term,
a contemporary historian. He writes primarily as a witness to the events he is treating, and not just as an outside witness but often as an inside one as well; for his own involvement in these events, emotional and intellectual, is of such intensity that he can speak, in a sense, from the inside as well as the outside.
Yet the sense of the historic dimension of the events in question is never lost. And the quality of the writing places it clearly in the category of good literature."
-- George F. Kennan, on The Uses of Adversity
"This is a kind of writing--it could be called the history of the present--for which it is not easy to find examples in earlier literature. . . . Garton Ash is, in the most literal sense of the term,
a contemporary historian. He writes primarily as a witness to the events he is treating, and not just as an outside witness but often as an inside one as well; for his own involvement in these events, emotional and intellectual, is of such intensity that he can speak, in a sense, from the inside as well as the outside.
Yet the sense of the historic dimension of the events in question is never lost. And the quality of the writing places it clearly in the category of good literature."
--George F. Kennan, on The Uses of Adversity

"From the Hardcover edition."

"This is a kind of writing it could be called the history of the present for which it is not easy to find examples in earlier literature. . . . Garton Ash is, in the most literal sense of the term,
a contemporary historian. He writes primarily as a witness to the events he is treating, and not just as an outside witness but often as an inside one as well; for his own involvement in these events, emotional and intellectual, is of such intensity that he can speak, in a sense, from the inside as well as the outside.
Yet the sense of the historic dimension of the events in question is never lost. And the quality of the writing places it clearly in the category of good literature."
George F. Kennan, on The Uses of Adversity

From the Hardcover edition."

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375727627: History of the Present: Essays, Sketches, and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0375727620 ISBN 13: 9780375727627
Publisher: Vintage, 2001
Softcover

9780140283181: History of the Present: Essays, Sketches And Despatches from Europe in the 1990S

Penguin, 2000
Softcover

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