Central Europe

Central Europe : Enemies and Neighbors and Friends

3.7 (111 ratings by Goodreads)
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This is a historical survey of Central Europe, a region that encompasses contemporary Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia. Unlike almost all the previous histories of this region, Lonnie Johnson doesn't divide the area into 'west' and 'east', or view it simply as the battlefield of the Cold War. Acknowledging the recent unification of Germany, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the re-asserting of Central Europe as an autonomous region, Johnson instead tells the unique history of the area. Each chapter is thematically organized around a few key issues or events that are particularly important for developing an understanding of the period addressed. The complexity of Central Europe that stems from its delightful, astonishing, and sometimes perplexing diversity is something all those interested in the area confront. Johnson's lucid, cogent prose helps make clear the competing ideological, national, religious, and economic interests that have driven the history of the region. Thorough, objective, and focused on Northern Eastern Europe, Johnson's work stands out both as a useful core text covering an area of growing interest and a beautifully rendered account of a region that is only beginning to receive current scholarly attention.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 22 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • halftones, maps, genealogy tables
  • 0195100719
  • 9780195100716

About Lonnie R. Johnson

Lonnie R. Johnson has taught for a variety of institutions in Vienna, Austria, and has travelled extensively in Central Europe. He currently is the editor of KOOPERATIONEN: Higher Education, Science & Research in Austria, published by the Austrian Academic Exchange Service.show more

Back cover copy

Central Europe provides a broad overview and comparative analysis of key events in a historical region that encompasses contemporary Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia. Starting with the initial conversion of the "pagan" peoples of the region of Christianity around 1000 A.D. and concluding with the revolutions of 1989 and the problems of post-Communist states today, it illuminates the distinctive nature and peculiarities of the historical development of this region as a cohesive whole. Lonnie R. Johnson introduces readers to Central Europe's heritage of diversity, the interplay of its cultures, and the origins of its malicious ethnic and national conflicts. History in Central Europe, he shows, has been epic and tragic. Throughout the ages, small nations struggled valiantly against a series of imperial powers - Ottoman Turkey, Habsburg Austria, imperial Germany, czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union - and they lost regularly. Johnson's account is present-minded in the best sense: in describing actual historical events, he illustrates the ways they have been remembered, and how they contribute to the national assumptions that still drive European politics today. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, the unanticipated problems of transforming post-Communist states into democracies with market economies, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the challenges of European integration have all made Central Europe the most dynamic and troubled region in Europe. In Central Europe, Johnson combines a vivid and panoramic narrative of events, a nuanced analysis of social, economic, and political developments, and a thoughtfulportrait of those myths and memories that have lives of their own - and consequences for all of Europe.show more

Review quote

It is one of the many strengths of Johnson's book that he strikes an ever-insightful balance between the history of the Central European psyche ... and the geopolitical circumstances of which that psyche is an expression ... he is uniformly stimulating on the role of the Germans as settlers in the region ... Lonnie Johnson's thought-provoking and invariably judicious analysis of these matters should become required reading for students, as well as for veterans, of the Central European scene. As one would expect from the Oxford University Press, it comes with a full scholarly apparatus and index, but its clarity and admirable grasp of the broad sweep of historical narrative make it as suitable for the general reader as for specialists. * Nicholas T. Parsons, The Hungarian Quarterly * The merits of johnsons work are certain. It presents a dispassionate overview of the various historical imaginations in Central Europe, including those of smaller peoples. * Niilo Kauppi, The European Legacy, Vol.5, No.4. *show more

Rating details

111 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 17% (19)
4 45% (50)
3 31% (34)
2 5% (6)
1 2% (2)
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