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Europe Since 1989: A History

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The year 1989 brought the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. It was also the year that the economic theories of Reagan, Thatcher, and the Chicago School achieved global dominance. And it was these neoliberal ideas that largely determined the course of the political, economic, and social changes that transformed Europe—both east and wes ...more
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by Princeton University Press (first published October 20th 2014)
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Charles J
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book’s title is a lie, as is most of what little history it contains. I read"Europe Since 1989: A History" to fill in the gaps from Tony Judt’s "Postwar," which ends its history around 2000. Philipp Ther’s book was published in 2014, with an English translation in 2016, and it specifically name-checks Judt’s book. Thus, it seemed like the ideal way to bring my knowledge to the present day. But this book could better be titled "A Narrow Attack on the Economics and Social Impact of Neoliberal ...more
Myopic. Emphasizes the successes and failures of neoliberalism in eastern, central, and southern Europe with little attention paid to anything else. This subject could make a decent monograph, but it surely is not "Europe Since 1989: A History."
Ian Cook Westgate
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best history/economy audiobooks I've ever listened to, "Europe Since 1989" is an engrossing look at how the European countries have flourished or stagnated since the end of the Cold War. Its tone is academic, in that it sounds like a particularly interesting lecture that you'd hear at a university. It comes across as a balanced pros-and-cons judgment of how the neoliberal (translation: free market capitalist) global system has both helped and screwed over the various regions of Europe ...more
Interesting stuff - hard to believe its been 29 years since 1989. Wow that makes me feel old. I remember being in high school when all this stuff was going on. All those changes, all those countries. So much upheaval. Very informative - probably needs a re-read to get more content into my headspace - there was a lot to take in.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Die neue Ordnung auf dem alten Kontinent: Eine Geschichte des neoliberalen Europa" von Philipp Ther ist die Geschichte Ost- und Ostmitteleuropas seit 1989 bis ungefähr heute. Der Fokus liegt hierbei auf Polen, (Ost-)Deutschland, Österreich, der Tschechischen Republik, der Slovakei, Slowenien, der Ukraine, Russland und den baltischen Ländern.

Eigentlich hatte ich nicht vor dieses Buch zu lesen, da der Begriff "neoliberal" meistens darauf schließen lässt, dass der Autor ein ökonomischer Laie ist.
Allan Luchenitser
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Dense economic and political history written by an Austrian professor. The book tracks neoliberal policy outcomes with a focus on countries coming out of communism. The minutia is severe (and painful) but there's some good stuff in there that's probably nowhere else. Politics via handsome plumbers, Schwarzenegger pitching Friedman, shifty kiosk ladies - to name a few. As a non-academic I'd say this is one of the worst books I'm still glad I read.
Justin Evans
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-etc
I was going to be much harsher, but the top reviews at this moment are both very poorly done take-downs, and I didn't want to pile on. So, instead, I'll focus on what's good about the book. I don't like this position.

Ther's book is important because so much 'European' history is just the history of a small handful of generally successful countries: France and Germany in the first rank, then the smaller western European nations, maybe a few paragraphs about Spain and Italy... but certainly never
Son Tung
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
It is hard to rate this book since i had a tough time following the sheer amount of information presented. Background understanding of economics theory and familiarity with the history of politics of each EU states are needed. Furthermore, it is not an overall introduction to EU history since 1989, but the economic history of the EU since 1989, with special focus on former communist territories.

The general idea i can get is that the neo-liberalism economic system took place in various forms an
Pedro Pinheiro
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the title were "Eastern Europe Since 1989: An Economic History" then it would be a five star book. The only flaw I can point (from my southern european mindframe) it's the superficial analysis of southern europe, particularly as these countries were at the center of Euro discussion for the last eight years. However, given the author's origin and expertise this can be forgiven.

For a non-social science scholar it's a very readable, engaging and overall interesting book. It presents a what seem
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
I listened to an audio version of this and was overwhelmed by the author's incessant barrage of economics numbers and his discursive narration style, constantly switching back and forth from one country to another and then back again. I could discern no coherent theme, and essentially learned little about Europe since 1989 that I didn't already know, or at least suspect. If you want to know about the history of Europe since the fall of communism (and I still do) you'll have to look elsewhere.
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really excellent book on a big topic. It's similar to Tony Judt's Postwar (self-consciously so), and it attempts to cover the main themes of European history since 1989 and does so quite well. The author is so erudite and he has a really impressive command of the topic. Going in, I was a bit skeptical of the emphasis on Eastern Europe but came away convinced that this was the right approach. This was the second book I've read this year that significantly shifted my priors on market capitalism.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
A simplistic view of European history since 1989.

>Presents problem in Eastern Europe since 1989
>[Shuffles cards]
>"This was caused by Neoliberal economic policies."
>Presents another problem in Eastern Europe since 1989
>[Shuffles cards]
> "This was caused by blinkered Euroscepticism"

There, now you don't have to read it.
Edelhart Kempeneers
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Interessant. Europese Unie is fragieler dan ik gedacht had.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, march
Nice to see the last 20 years in Europe judged against the arc of long term history. May be another hundred years before conclusions can be drawn.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a decent history of the end of communism and early post-communist period, but it has two major flaws.

First, the book is misnamed. It is not really about Europe since 1989, it's about Eastern Europe since the mid 1980s. Maybe the author wanted to present it as a continuation of Tony Judt's great work, but it is really misleading - there is really nothing about Western Europe in this book, except in the context of East European reforms.

The second flaw is the author's strange infatuation wit
Sam Seitz
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is tough to review because it combines a stupid, overly reductive thesis with loads of interesting empirical observations. It’s also not a history of Europe since 1989, but that is the fault of the translator/publisher, not the author: The original German title – Die neue Ordnung auf dem alten Kontinent: Eine Geschichte des neoliberalen Europa – is much more accurate. Ther’s central argument is that neoliberal ideology completely dominated the thinking of post-Communist Eastern Europea ...more
Pinko Palest
Feb 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
not a history of Europe but an account of how countries in Eastern Europe coped with the fall of communism. According to the author, most did quite well, thank you, by accepting most of the tenets of what would later be called neoliberalism (he does add a few caveats every now and again). Pretends to be objective and progressive even, but is neither (although he makes a few valid points, scattered throughout the book)
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