A Book for the Times, Review of Norman Davies' Europe: A HistoryIssue: Fall 1997
A Book for the Times, Review of Norman Davies' Europe: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).
It is unusual for a standard work issued by the Oxford University Press to be obscured by a fog of controversy. Unfortunately, it has happened with Norman Davies' huge history of Europe--for reasons that are not always easily comprehensible. Admittedly, there were a certain number of errors and literals in the first edition (I am assured that corrections have been made in the second), but this is surely not sufficient reason for dismissing a work of great originality without even discussing its leading ideas or the novelty of its method. To do so is to open oneself to the charge of pedantry, or else of hostility for some unstated reason.