Here is the definitive history of contemporary Europe, a controversial but authoritative and lively narrative that is destined to become the standard account of the period from 1914 to the present. In this superb volume, esteemed historian Bernard Wasserstein offers the first serious, full-length history of a century of convulsive change. It is a history of barbarism and civilization, of cruelty and tenderness, of technological achievement and environmental blight, of imperial expansion and withdrawal, of authoritarian repression and of individual rebirth. Wasserstein provides both a narrative of the main contours of the political, diplomatic, and military history and an analysis the underpinnings of demographic, economic, and social developments. Drawing on the latest scholarly findings, including recent disclosures of intelligence materials and archival revelations that followed the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, Wasserstein captures the essence of contemporary European history in an engaging narrative that is by turns grim, humorous, surprising, and enlightening.