Here are ten books that Prospect writers particularly admired this year.
Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present
by Brendan Simms (Allen Lane, £30)
“At 690 pages it is big in heft and ambition, sweeping across half a millennium of European history,” wrote Josef Joffe in April. “Aficionados of the craft should cheer the arrival of Simms’s brainchild. There is nothing in the recent literature to match it. Not only has Simms bitten off a huge chunk of history, he has also mastered it with style and an awe-inspiring command of the literature (the footnotes run on for almost 100 pages). He deserves a prize just for this Herculean feat of synthesis. Another one might beckon for breaking the mould of traditional, that is, state-centred, diplomatic hist…