University of Edinburgh, Spring semester 2010
<-- Autumn Semester 2009
Name: Sveinbjorn Thordarson ("Bjorn")
Email: sveinbjornt at gmail dot com
General reading and reference works
M. Rapport, Nineteenth-century Europe
ÂR. Gildea, Barricades and Borders 1800-1914
E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848
C. A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World 1780-1914
E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital 1845-1875
N. Stone, Europe Transformed 1878-1919
G. L. Mosse, The Culture of Western Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire 1875-1914
A. Briggs & P. Clavin, Modern Europe 1789-1989
J. Joll, Europe Since 1870
George Lichtheim, Europe in the Twentieth Century
R. Vinen, A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century
W. Lacquer, Europe in Our Time: A Hsitory 1945-1992
J. R. Wegs & R. Ladrech, Europe since 1945: A Concise History
D. Urwin, A Political History of Western Europe since 1945
T. Judt, Postwar
W. Hitchcock, The Struggle for Europe: The History of the Continent since 1945
M. Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century
Week 1 - Jan 14 – Bismarck and United Germany
Documents of German Unification, 1848-1871
H. Holborn, A History of Modern Germany 1840-1945
J. Breuilly, The Formation of the First German Nation-State
D. Blackburn, The Long Nineteenth Century
J. Breuilly, Nineteenth-Century Germany
K. Pinson, Modern Germany
W. Carr, Germany 1815-1945v
C. Clark, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947
What were the instrumental factors in German unification? Why did Prussia lead the process of unification? Who was Otto von Bismarck and what was his role in this process? Why did the German states unite in the 19th century and not earlier? What did a united Germany mean for the balance of power in Europe?
Week 2 - Jan 21 - Darwinism and Secularisation
Samuel Wilberforce: On Darwin's 'Origin of Species'
Some of these works cover a large timespan, in which case you should
read the chapters on Darwinism and developments in the 19th century.
H. McLeod, Secularisation in Western Europe, 1848-1914
John van Wyhe, Darwin: The Story of the Man and His Theories of Evolution
H. McLeod, Religion and the People of Western Europe
D. P. Crook, Darwinism, War and History
John H. Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Perspectives
Keith Thomson, Before Darwin: Reconciling God and Nature
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age
J. Howard, Darwin: A Very Short Introduction
Who was Charles Darwin and why did his theories shock Victorian society?
What was new about Darwin's theory, as opposed to previous evolutionary theories?
What effect did Darwinism have on religion, and how did religious establishments and institutions respond? Did Darwin's theory give impetus to the process of secularisation? What is the connection between Darwinism and the racial theories that become popular in the second half of the 19th century?
Week 3 – Jan 28 - Marxism and the Rise of Socialism
K. Marx & F. Engels, The Communist Manifesto
G. Lichtheim, A Short History of Socialism
J. Muravchick, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of
J. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men
G. Lichtheim, Marxism
I. Berlin, Karl Marx
D. McLellan, Marx
M. Newman, Socialism: A Very Short Introduction
P. Singer, Marxism: A Very Short Introduction
Who was Karl Marx and what were his contributions to socialist theory? What were the formative influences in Marx's writings? According to Marx, what was wrong with capitalism? What future developments did Marx predict for capitalist society? What is dialectical materialism?
Week 4 – Feb 4 - Feminism
Week 5 – Feb 11 - The Great War
The Versailles Treaty
D. Stevenson, 1914-1918: The History of the First World War
B. Tuchman, The Guns of August
A. J. P. Taylor, An Illustrated History of the First World War
Marc Ferro, The Great War 1914-1918
J. Joll, The Origins of the First World War
H. W. Koch, The Origins of the First World War
G. Martel, The Origins of the First World War
What were the causes of the Great War? Was the Great War avoidable?
How was WWI different from previous European wars? What was the outcome of the war? How did it change the map of Europe?
What was the Treaty of Versailles, what were its terms and how did it affect subsequent European politics?
Week 6 – Feb 18 - The Russian Revolution
Lenin, Our Program
Lenin, What is to be done?
S. A. Smith, The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction
S. Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution
R. A. Wade, The Russian Revolution 1917
O. Figes, A People's Tragedy: Russian Revolution, 1891-1924
M. Ferro, The Bolshevik Revolution : a social history of the Russian Revolution
A tough first-hand inside view by Trotsky is History of the Russian Revolution.
What caused the Russian Revolution? Who were the Bolshevisk and Mensheviks, and what were their ideological differences, if any? Who was Lenin?
How did the Bolsheviks seize power? What is meant by "dictatorship of the proletariat"? What social changes did
the Bolsheviks implement once in power? What was the reaction of the Western capitalist democracies to the Revolution?
Week 7 – Feb 25 - The Great Depression
John Maynard Keynes,The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920
Patricia Clavin, The Great Depression in Europe, 1929-1939
F. B. Tipton & Robert Aldrich, An Economic & Social History of Europe 1830-1939
Charles Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929-1939
Carlo M. Cipolla (ed.), The Fontana Economic History of Europe, ch. 5-6.
H. Feinstein, The European economy between the wars
D. E. Kaiser, Economic diplomacy and the origins of the Second World War: Germany, Britain, France and Eastern Europe, 1930-1939 between the wars
William R. Garside, Capitalism in crisis: international responses to the Great Depression
What were the social and economic consequences of the Great Depression? What were its causes? How
did European governments react? How was the Depression overcome? What were the political effects of
the Depression in individual European countries?
Week 8 – Mar 4 - Hitler’'s Germany: The Rise of National Socialism
Adolf Hitler, Speech of April 12, 1921
Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich
Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power
M. Burleigh & W. Wippermann, The Racist State
D. J. K. Peukert, Inside Nazi Germany
Ian Kershaw, Hitler
Hitler's Mein Kampf, while incredibly tedious, is Hitler’s most explicit manifesto.
A long and rather dated classic on Nazi Germany is William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
A perspective from a major figure within the Nazi system is
Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer, Hitler's state
architect and minister of armaments.
Why was the Weimar government in crisis? Who was Adolf Hitler? What circumstances made his rise to power possible? What was Hitler's agenda and what was
his vision for the future of Germany? What social policies did the Nazis put into effect upon taking power? Why did the
Nazi party get so much popular support?
Week 9 – Mar 11 - The Second World War
Winston Churchill, Speech before the Commons on June 4, 1940
Adolf Hitler, The Obersalzberg Speech
P. M. H. Bell, The Origins of the Second World War in Europe
Richard Overy, The Origins of the Second World War
S. P. MacKenzie, The Second World War in Europe
Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won
Mark Mazoner, Hitler’s Empire
No historical period has been the subject of as many books as the
Second World War in all its aspects. Should you be unable to get hold
of the books above, you can easily get hold of something from the
enormous corpus of WW2 literature.
What caused the Second World War? Was it avoidable? How had the technology and techniques of warfare changed since the Great War?
What factors were intrumental in the military defeat of Germany? What consequences did the
war have for Europe's Jewish population? How did WW2 change the map of Europe?
Week 10 – Mar 18 - The Cold War
Winston S. Churchill, "Iron Curtain Speech", March 5, 1946
Martin McCauley, The Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949
Fraser Harbutt, The Cold War
R. McMahon & T. G. Paterson (eds.), The Origins of the Cold War
D Painter, The Cold War
J. Smith, The Cold War
V. Zubok & K. Pleshakovm, Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War
What were the results of the Yalta Conference? What was the "Iron Curtain"?
In what way had the balance of power in Europe changed at the end of the war?
What role did the old European powers have in the new world order?
Week 11 – Mar 25 - The Soviet System and the Fall of the Iron Curtain
Ronald Reagan, "Tear down this wall" speech
T. Gooding, Rules and Subjects: Government and People in Russia 1801-1991
R. Pearson, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire
G. Hasking, A History of the Soviet Union
Martin McCauley, The Soviet Union since 1917
Mary McAuley, Politics & the Soviet Union
Gale Stokes, The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe
V. Tismaneanu, The Revolutions of 1989
What was the relationship between the Soviet Union and its various sattelite states in Europe? When and why did the Iron Curtain collapse? Was the fall of the Soviet Union caused by institutional decay from within, or by the pressure of competing with the West? Who were the belligerents during the Cold War?