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Europe Since 1989: A History

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  24 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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Average rating 3.55  · 
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Charles Haywood
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
Mayim de Vries
Jul 03, 2021 rated it liked it
If you hate neoliberalism and its mothers fathers, this book is definitely for you.
Ekul
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." ...more
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
Paige McLoughlin
A detailed history of Europe since 1989. Sounds like a worried neolib detailing the trees of problems and missing the forest of his own allegiance to Neoliberal ideology and austerity causing the problem of rising authoritarianism and recent unraveling as Brexit shows. The immiseration of eastern and southern Europe is documented but he tries to gloss over the fact that the technocrats in Brussels are largely to blame for the problem and that hollow slogans like investing in the Capital of peopl ...more
Melinda
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.
Joe Zivak
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dolezite zhrnutie divokych dejin Europy po roku 1989. Aj pre tych, co si pamataju, aj pre tych, co nie velmi. Transformacia sa diala hlavne pod hlavickou ekonomickej neoliberalnej teorie a je zivotne dolezite vediet v com zlyhala a v com nie, ake nasledky priniesla a preco stale bojujeme s jej silne zvugarizovanymi a dogmatickymi verziami (INESS, svedkovia Sulikovi a ini pohrobkovia).
Philipp
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.
...more
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
...more
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. ...more
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
...more
Kevin
Jul 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I suppose it is time for us to start considering the 1990s as history, and Philipp Ther provides an insightful early draft of this project. That said, much of Europe Since 1989: A History still reads a lot like a political science and economics text.
Ther's focuses on the formerly communist East and the West's political and economic interactions and responses towards this new reality. Ther argues the prescription is a harsh "shock therapy" regime of neo-liberal reforms, privatization, and deregu
...more
P
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.
If
...more
Max
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. ...more
Moses
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.
...more
Kieran Dold
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Constantly throws out terms and fails to define them. Constantly feels like you're still in the introduction of the book and things are being set up to be explained later but you realise you are halfway through. ...more
Igor Zurimendi
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Once I got over the repeated use of 'neoloberalism', found it bad quite a lot of interesting things to say about the relative success and failures of central Europe after the fall of Communism. ...more
Edelhart Kempeneers
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Interessant. Europese Unie is fragieler dan ik gedacht had.
Brian
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
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.
Lukas Pürner
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Be careful! This story makes depressive.
Anastasia
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
The concept of valuing economic growth above all else makes me sick. I guess economy as it is now mostly practiced makes me sick.
But it is admirable that the book adresses the mostly ignored eastern european and baltic countries and i guess i do want to know more about this rat race, the free market.
I don't understand how the top rated review here can describe the book as being apologetic of communism. I read it like a merciless description of the trials and tribulations of poorer countries tryi
...more
Slavisa
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
...more
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)
Dragan
rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2018
Chelsea
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2018
Will
rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2018
Chris van Koppen
rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2019
Maynard Handley
rated it did not like it
Oct 16, 2017
Kevin Thompson
rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2020
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