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Europe’s messy violent past—and confused present

Simon Jenkins's new history of Europe is peppered with counter-intuitive takes

By Zoe Apostolides   November 2018
Vikings Heading for Land by Frank Dicksee 1873 Source: Wkimedia commons

Vikings Heading for Land by Frank Dicksee 1873 Source: Wkimedia commons

War and peace, strife and stability: these are the patterns chartered through Simon Jenkins’s new investigation of Europe’s past, which ranges from the Minoan civilisations of 2500BC to the EU referendum vote in June 2016—and beyond. Jenkins takes the long view because, as he argues, “history acquires meaning only if we can see effect following cause over time.” Along the way he builds an engrossing aerial view of a…

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