Re-think Europe and what it means to be European
After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the 20th century, the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative prosperity to most of Europe. Enormous economic improvements transformed the continent. The catastrophic era of the world wars receded into an ever more distant past, though its long shadow continued to shape mentalities.
Join Ian Kershaw as he draws a grand panorama of the world we live in and where it came from, in conversation with Samira Ahmed.
Europe was now a divided continent, living under the nuclear threat in a period intermittently fraught with anxiety. Europeans experienced a 'roller-coaster ride', both in the sense that they were flung through a series of events which threatened disaster, but also in that they were no longer in charge of their own destinies: for much of the period the USA and USSR effectively reduced Europeans to helpless figures whose fates were dictated to them depending on the vagaries of the Cold War. There were, by most definitions, striking successes - the Soviet bloc melted away, dictatorships vanished and Germany was successfully reunited. But accelerating globalization brought new fragilities. The impact of interlocking crises after 2008 was the clearest warning to Europeans that there was no guarantee of peace and stability.
Ian Kershaw is one of the UK's most distinguished historians. His most famous books include Hitler, Fateful Choices and The End. The first volume in his history of modern Europe, To Hell and Back, was described by the Observer as 'superb... likely to become and classic' and by Harold Evans in the New York Times as 'chilling epic-size history... should be required reading'.
Samira Ahmed is an award winning journalist and broadcaster. She presents Front Row on Radio 4 and Newswatch on BBC1. Her history documentaries include HG Wells and the H bomb, Laura Ingalls' America and the forthcoming Victorian Queens of Ancient Egypt. She's been a presenter and reporter on Channel 4 News, BBC News and Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Samira is visiting professor of journalism at Kingston University.
Image: Cover art from Rollercoaster, Europe 1950 – 2017 by Ian Kershaw
|Name:||Ian Kershaw: Europe 1950 – 2017|
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