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European History for Dummies

Seán Lang

ISBN: 978-1-119-99726-9 February 2011 428 Pages


A fun, informative guide to Europe’s past and present.

The history of Europe is rich, complex, vibrant, and at times violent; it has influenced many countries throughout the world and has itself been influenced by many countries. In the light-hearted European History For Dummies, historian Sean Lang explores the countries, conflicts, people, institutions, disasters, and triumphs that have helped shape modern-day Europe, packing in tons of facts alongside the fun. Chapters range from "Celts without Kilts" and "What a Way to Run a Republic!" to "I Capture Quite a Few Castles," "Reformation Ruckus," and "The War to End All Wars."

Sean Lang, the author of British History For Dummies (0-7645-7021-8), is also a history lecturer, examiner, and writer.


Part I: Origins of a Continent.

Chapter 1: Not so much a continent, more a view of life.

Chapter 2: The Stone Age Rocks.

Part II: Europe of  the Ancients.

Chapter 3: You're Ancient History!

Chapter 4: The Ups and Downs of the Roman Empire.

Part III: Middle Ages.

Chapter 5: Dancing in the Dark Ages.

Chapter 6: Gold, Murder, and Frankish Sense.

Chapter 7: Knock, Knock, Knocking Heads at Heaven's Door.

Chapter 8: Don’t Call Us Medieval!

Part IV: New Ideas, New Worlds.

Chapter 9: Back to the Future: The Renaissance.

Chapter 10: Reformation Ruckus.

Chapter 11: Mass and Nassacre: The Wars of Religion.

Chapter 12: Tsar Wars.

Chapter 13: Absolute Power: The Sun King Rises.

Part V: Europe Rules the World.

Chapter 14: The (Almost) Irresistible Rise of France and Russia.

Chapter 15: Seeking Enlightenment.

Chapter 16: France Catches a Cold – and We’re all Sneezing.

Chapter 17: Grime Wave: Europe Gets Industrial.

Chapter 18: Building Nations.

Part VI: Europe Tears Itself in Two.

Chapter 19: Europe's Age of Empire.

Chapter 20: The War to End All Wars - Doesn't.

Chapter 21: Revolution in Russia.

Chapter 22: Europe Goes to Extremes.

Chapter 23: World War and Cold War.

Chapter 24: Eurovision.

Part VII: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 25: Ten Europeans who Dominated the Continent.

Chapter 26: Ten Days That Shook Europe - and the World.

Chapter 27: Ten Places (apart from Naples) to See Before You Die.

Chapter 28: Ten Things Europe (and the World) Could Have Done Without.


"...Lang has produced a comprehensive, concise, fascinating account...of the main events that have helped shaped modern history..." (The Times Educational Supplement, June 2006)

"...well worth reading, handy as a reference book...." (The Teacher, July 2006)