The Thirty Years War
Geoffrey Parker
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The Thirty Years War

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Brings to life the horrors of war (depicted in Callot's engravings) & the contorted politics of the continent from 1618-1648.
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Dorset Press (first published January 1st 1984)
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Significant battles and political movements. Religious strife and great powers being sucked in with no exit plan. Players rise and fall from defeat, death, or both. The fighting continued until the financial deadlock struck them all.

The Thirty Years was lays the groundwork for understanding Europe prior to the Napoleonic Era. This book is a great overview (I stress overview) of the climactic struggle known as the Thirty Years War. While lacking in detail, the book does a fairly good job of disc...more
The Thirty Years' War is an immensely complex subject. Not only does it take place over a long period of time, but the issues that resulted in, and then carried the conflict to its conclusion, are labyrinthine, to say the least. Additionally, the personalities of the war change frequently, as almost all of the major figures present at the beginning of the war were dead by the end, and even the combatants changed from year to year.

That said, this book did very little to increase my understanding...more
Pastor Ben
Not a fascinating, draw-you-in, kind of book. Now that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, does it? But I really did enjoy it. The topic is very complicated and seemed so at first, but it became much clearer as the book progressed.
My colleague said it best: "It's like reading a 200 page encyclopedia entry." Parker's book is a detail-heavy political history. Though he does his best to outline this complicated European conflict, it's not without problems; I was especially bothered by the jumpy chronology. The Wikipedia page is a fine substitute for this book, though I would recommend the last chapter of Parker's book, which does have an interesting argument about why the conflict endured as long as it did.
Great detail about the maneuverings of the politicians and nations leading up and through the war. Not a lot of detail until the final 30 pages on the impact, what it was like for civilians, specific anecdotes of warfare and all the tidbits that would make this book interesting. I'm sure there's better books about the Thirty Years' War.
Aug 26, 2009 carriedaway rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 30 Yrs War buffs, 17th C enthusiasts, fans of Eric Flint's Ring of Fire (Assarti Shards) series.
Nicely readable overview of the depth and scope of the Thirty Years War. Heavy on the military history, naturally enough, but covered the major and many minor players well enough along with the shifting alliances and boundaries that were being fought over. Land, politics and religion, what else is there?
Ronald Gibbs
Jan 14, 2008 Ronald Gibbs rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ronald by: Grant Sumnicht
Gateway to understanding the history of modern europe. This is an overview of a hugely complex topic but a very good place to start.
This is one of the better histories of the great religious war in Europe during the 17th century.
It covers the material, but it is very dry and long to read.
Better than I remembered.
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Historian best known for his work on the sixteenth century military revolution and themes related to the era of Philip II.

Fellow of the British Academy, member of the Order of Alfonso X the Wise and awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.
More about Geoffrey Parker...
The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800 The Grand Strategy of Philip II The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road, 1567-1659: The Logistics of Spanish Victory and Defeat in the Low Countries' Wars (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History) The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare: The Triumph of the West Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

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