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The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789

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The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789
By Nicholas Atkin, Michael Biddiss, and Frank Tallett. (Wiley-Blackwell: A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication: 2011. Pg. xxxvi, 473. Maps.) ISBN: 978-1-4051-8922-4.

Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - April 11, 2011

The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789 is the product of the collaboration of three authors: Nicholas Atkin, Michael Biddiss, and Frank Tallett. A remarkable work of erudition, this book contains nearly 1,000 detailed entries covering the breadth of modern European history since 1789. This was a daunting undertaking, and the authors have succeeded, admirably, in crafting an authoritative and informative text that is accessible to both historians and lay readers alike.

The entries in this dictionary are organized alphabetically. As well, the authors have included a 'summary listing of entries and principal cross-heading' which enable those seeking information on a particular subject to locate related topics and to locate topics that might be listed under a heading different from that which they are looking for. If you are looking for brief definitions for terms or events such as communism or the Habsburg empire, look elsewhere. What you will find in this book is concise, yet very detailed entries that touch upon the key elements related to each topic. Also included in this dictionary are biographical entries on key personalities related to this period, ranging from Alexandre Ledru-Rollin and János Kádár to more widely known personalities such as Adolph Hitler and Margaret Thatcher. The text also includes some helpful maps which show the major political changes in Europe since 1789.

Edifying to read, The Wiley-Blackwell Dictionary of Modern European History Since 1789 is a worthy edition to all public and private libraries, and students will find this reference book to be a welcome addition to both high school and college libraries.


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