Named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review Almost a decade in the making , this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world’s most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change—all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy. * A Time and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year* Maps, photos, and cartoons throughout
As Judt movingly draws it, the picture of Europe at the end of World War II is pitiful almost beyond bearing. Some 36.5 million Europeans are reckoned to have died between 1939 and 1945 because of the war. Tens of millions more were uprooted by Hitler and Stalin. In the immediate aftermath of Germany's defeat, the continent was scarred with violent retribution, purges and outbreaks of what in some places - like Greece and Yugoslavia - amounted to civil war. As Judt notes, the war in Europe did not really end in 1945 at all. Neither did the persecution of Jews end with the closing of the death camps: well over a thousand Jews were killed in Polish pogroms after the liberation of Poland.