The best of times

(K. Brent Tomer),

Steaming ahead

The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914. By Richard Evans. Viking; 928 pages; $40. Allen Lane; £35.

TO APPRECIATE the social transformations that took place in Europe between the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the start of the first world war, consider what happened to its towns and cities. Economic growth and technological innovation allowed them to reach new and vertiginous heights. Lofty creations like the Eiffel Tower, completed in 1889, or the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool, which opened in 1911, symbolised a richer, more confident world following the Napoleonic wars.

In “The Pursuit of Power”, an impressive and richly documented new book, Richard Evans of Cambridge University says that most contemporaries were convinced this was a time of “open-ended improvement”. Breakneck industrialisation turned rural economies into metropolitan ones. Superior medicines and public sanitation, along with state vaccination programmes, cut the impact of epidemics like smallpox and typhus. Wars were relatively small and short-lived (the death rate of men in battle was seven…Continue reading

via K. Brent Tomer CFTC The best of times

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s