From the monarchical terror of the Middle Ages to the mangled Europe of the twenty-first century, A People's History of Modern Europe tells the history of the continent through the deeds of those whom mainstream history tries to forget.
Europe provided the perfect conditions for a great number of political revolutions from below. The German peasant wars of Thomas Muntzer, the bourgeois revolutions of the eighteenth century, the rise of the industrial worker in England, the turbulent journey of the Russian Soviets, the role of the European working class throughout the Cold War, student protests in 1968 and through to the present day, when we continue to fight to forge an alternative to the barbaric economic system.
By focusing on the role of women, trade unions and students, this history sweeps away the tired platitudes of the privileged upon which our current understanding is based, providing an opportunity to see our history differently.
William A. Pelz (1951-2017) was Director of the Institute of Working Class History in Chicago and a Professor of History at Elgin Community College. His works include A People's History of the German Revolution, (Pluto, 2018) Wilhelm Liebknecht and German Social Democracy (Haymarket, 2015), The Eugene V. Debs Reader (Merlin Press, 2014) and A People's History of Modern Europe (Pluto, 2016).
Introduction 1. 'The King's in His Castle ... All's Right with the World' - The Collapse of the Middle Ages 2. The Other Reformation: Martin Luther, Religious Dogma and the Common People 3. The World Turned Upside Down: The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century and the English Revolution, 1640-1649 4. Rise of the Third Estate: The French People Revolt 5. Becoming an Appendage to the Machine: The Revolution in Production 6. From the Revolutions of 1848-1849 to the First Peoples Democracy: Paris Commune 7. Rise of the Working Classes: Trade Unions and Socialism, 1871-1914 8. Protest and Mutiny Confront Mass Slaughter: Europeans in World War I 9. War Leads to Revolution: Russia (1917), Central Europe (1918-1919) 10. Economic Collapse and the Rise of Fascism, 1920-1933 11. Against Fascist Terror, War and Genocide, 1933-1945 12. A New Europe, 1945-1948? 13. Europeans in the Cold War: Between Moscow and Washington 14. From Berlin Wall to Prague Spring- A New Generation of Europeans 15. Fighting for Peace in an Atomic Age, 1969-1989 16. Europe falls into the Twenty-First Century Notes Index