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The pursuit of power The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914 by Richard J Evans (Allen Lane, £35)

Anyone expecting a dry account of the European balance of power will be in for a pleasant surprise. Richard J Evans’s The Pursuit of Power is a richly woven tapestry depicting a continent undergoing rapid transformation and achieving worldwide hegemony. The politics is deftly explained. But it is seamlessly intermingled with a dazzling range of subjects. In one roller-coaster chapter Evans takes us on a tour of European emotional life, a section that covers weeping, top…

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