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Covering European history from the invention of the printing press to the French Revolution, this accessible and engaging textbook offers an innovative account of people's lives, from a variety of backgrounds, in the early modern period and within the global context of European developments. Six central topics - individuals in society, politics and power, cultural and intellectual life, religion, economics and technology - are explored in two chronological sections, 1450-1600 and 1600-1789. The text takes in Europe in its entirety, eastward to the Ottoman Empire, northward to Sweden, and southward to Portugal, includes European colonies overseas, and integrates religious, ethnic, gender, class, and regional differences. Students are encouraged to think about continuities as well as changes across this formative period and throughout the text, maps, illustrations, timelines, and textboxes of original sources and featured topics illuminate the narrative. Online resources include primary source material, music examples and regularly updated bibliographies.
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'Merry Wiesner-Hanks' admirably up-to-date survey of early modern Europe succeeds in fulfilling a very challenging remit just about as well as one could wish. Its thematic structure, with a threaded narrative as required, represents the best way of imposing order and coherence on what can be an intractable mass of themes, problems, and divergent national histories. The difficult task of balancing breadth with depth is accomplished skilfully, and the text is particularly strong on gender and social relations. Students will undoubtedly appreciate its accessible unaffected style, as well as its range of well chosen (and often pleasingly unfamiliar) visual sources.' Peter Marshall, University of Warwick
'This impressive synthesis consolidates Merry Wiesner-Hanks' reputation as a master synthesizer of early modern European history. In thirteen thematic chapters she manages to infuse all the usual topics with fresh life, while seamlessly incorporating recent advances in gender history, global connections, and cultural analysis. She refers, when needed, to controversial historical interpretations and punctuates her text with brief, strategically-placed, source documents. This will be a useful account for anyone interested in the period, and its clear prose will be accessible even to entry-level students.' William Beik, Emory University
'Its structure is intended to present a student friendly format ... Visitors to [the] excellent website can not only discover all the relevant details but may also download a sample chapter ... Her discussion and ensuing definitions are enlightening ... Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks is of the opinion that she has written a book not the book on her subject; I think she is too modest, there is very little reason why this book should not be considered the seminal work for A level and first year under-graduates ... she resists the temptation to present merely the narrative but deals with the arguments and perspectives of historians both past and present ... this is a book to keep by you and dip in and out at will; the trouble is once you start dipping it's hard to stop.' The Journal of the Open University History Society
'... indispensable works of the synthesis and as original interpretation of the European past ... her heart beats for the role of women in history ... She has a good writing style. Each reader is encouraged to think about continuities as well as changes across this formative period. Her further readings to each chapter invites the reader to become absorbed in special books to the subjects.' The European Legacy
'As an introductory survey of European history from the invention of the printing press to the French Revolution, it admirably synthesizes an immense array of disparate themes and approaches while maintaining reader attention ... Throughout, Wiesner's style is engaging and intentionally accessible to the current generation of students.' Dwight E. R. Ten Huisen, H-German
Covering European history from the printing press to the French Revolution, this accessible and engaging textbook offers an innovative account of people's lives in the early modern period. Throughout the text maps, illustrations, timelines, and textboxes illuminate the narrative, with online resources including further primary source material.
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