Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?

Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?

The Transformation of Modern Europe

Book - 2008
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In this lively and ambitious book, James Sheehan charts what is perhaps the most radical shift in Europe's history: its transformation from war-torn battlefield to peaceful, prosperous society. For centuries, war was Europe's defining narrative, affecting every aspect of political, social, and cultural life. But afterWorldWar II, Europe began to reimagine statehood, rejecting ballooning defense budgets in favor of material well-being, social stability, and economic growth.
Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? reveals how and why this happened, and what it means for America and the rest of the world.
With remarkable insight and clarity, Sheehan covers the major intellectual and political events in Europe over the past one hundred years, from the pacifist and militarist movements of the early twentieth century and two catastrophic world wars to the fall of the BerlinWall and the heated debate over Iraq.This authoritative history provides much-needed context for understanding the fractured era in which we live.we live.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2008.
ISBN: 9780618353965
Branch Call Number: 940.55
Characteristics: xx, 284 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Aug 18, 2011

In this brief book, James Sheehan manages to chart the evolution of Europe from a blood-soaked militaristic continent to one in which war has, for the vast majority of its citizens, become not a last resort, but no resort at all. Sheehan wears his immense erudition lightly, highlighting only the most salient points in defence of his thesis. It is a very readable and stimulating guide to where we may all be heading. One quibble: Sheehan, an American, tends to treat Europe (and Japan) as exceptional demilitarized states. May it not be that the US is the militarized exception? Sheehan concludes by warning that although Europe is in many ways a step up the evolutionary ladder away from war. it has reacted weakly and uncertainly to troubles on its doorstep in the Balkans, Georgia, Turrkey, the Middle East (and now, we might add, Northern Africa.) The Europeans have built an enviable civilization, but it exists in a world that has not embraced the same principles.


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