What an amazing book.
The author looks at Nineteenth Century and sees a complicated knot of events, changes, differences of views – a knot that influences the contemporary world even when the last living witness is gone.
It is not a typical history book, filled with dates, names, causes and effects. Osterhammel is putting a lot of effort to present details of the time with meaning they had for the people. From small but universal observations then he goes to maybe not generalisation, but full, extensive description.
Carl Sagan said that you have to know the past to understand the present. Osterhammel bets on understanding the past and realising how intensively it still affects the contemporaneity.
It is huge – 1231 pages in my edition – but perfectly written and a great read.
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