Malcolm's Reviews > Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century

Europeana by Patrik Ouředník
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's review
Jul 23, 11

bookshelves: fiction-east-central-europe

I really like this. It is packaged and labelled fiction but it as much an essay in historiography as anything else – but don't let that put you off. One of the most compelling things about the book is the way Ouřednik juxtaposes related but normally unconnected events and things, and in doing so urges us to see the great events, tragedies mainly, of the 20th century as linked, related, and part of a bigger pattern (although he does have a bit of a tendency to equate the Soviet Union's Communism and Fascism he is nowhere near as bad at this ridiculous equation as many of the neocon ideologues). That tendency is probably the only thing in the book that bugged me – and while I'm not sure I agree or see the validity of his juxtapositions the book itself is a marvel of historical insight and thinking that takes at times the odd and seeming trivial to weave together a fantastically humanistic view of the century we're now leaving behind. Read it!

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