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Download Medieval Europe: A Short History epub

by C. Warren Hollister

Marked by C. Warren Hollister's clear historical vision and engaging teaching style, this classic text has been judiciously revised by Judith Bennett; the tenth edition includes greater coverage of Byzantium and Islam, a revised map program, a new essay program on medieval myths, and more. In his preface to the eighth edition, Professor Hollister wrote of his realization, while in college, that our world today "is a product of the medieval past." "Medieval Europe" introduces today's students to the medieval roots of our own society.
Download Medieval Europe: A Short History epub
ISBN: 0071244239
ISBN13: 978-0071244237
Category: History
Subcategory: Europe
Author: C. Warren Hollister
Language: English
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Europe; 10th edition (September 1, 2005)
Pages: 480 pages
ePUB size: 1263 kb
FB2 size: 1520 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 809
Other Formats: mobi lrf lrf lit

Out of my modest library of a dozen or so books on the period, "Medieval Europe, A Short History" is the one that I would recommend to use as a general introduction. I give it four stars because I believe that the highest ranking should be reserved for works of unparalleled insight and expression. That aside, this is a solid, professional, comprehensive, and accessible piece of work.
First published by Dr. Hollister in 1964, the book is now in its Ninth Edition (2002). For this reason, some of the criticisms in the reviews pre-dating the most recent edition are unfounded. (I have a Second Edition, and it is but a shadow of the current volume.)
The work of updating the text has been taken over by Dr. Bennett of the University of North Carolina. I believe that the long legacy of the book and its many revisions reflect what does and does not work in an introductory course to the Medieval period. Dr. Bennett's touch is apparent in the steady but fair commentary given to the role of women throughout the long period.
Above all, the book is compact and well-organized. While, at times, it may proceed like an outline, that aspect is driven by its scope: Western Europe from late antiquity to the Renaissance, with additional commentary (for context) on Byzantium & the rise of Islam. In fact, the amount of information contained within its 397 pages (paperback version) is impressive.
Given its purpose, one cannot expect much digression into painting portraits of the times. What one can expect is a clear and direct exposition of the salient events and major trends of the Medieval period from all angles (political, religious, intellectual, social, economic, artistic, cultural). On that score, it squarely delivers.
The signature element of the discussion are the brief asides and analogies to 20th Century American society and culture. They only show up every once in awhile -- not enough to be distracting and certainly witty enough to bring a smile.
From "A Short History," I'd suggest proceeding with Cantor's "Civilization of the Middle Ages" and to the essays in the "Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe." After that, the door should be wide open to an investigation of whatever detailed aspect of the period a reader might want to pursue.
Recommended. Good chronological tables. What I specifically like was the process description of the change from the previous era into the High Middle Ages, pp. 142-6, explaining population change, more food, better health, shift towards, modernization, a large increase of trade between multiple countries, viz., England producing surplus wool which was sent to the low countries to produce textiles for home and abroad, all the while trade rapidly grew among the costal cities (Genoa, Barcelona, Venice, etc). Chapter 14 has quite a bit on literature, art and thought (Thomas Aquinas,Ockham, English scholar Robert Grosseteste. A good short summary with quite a bit of breadth.
Great textbook or just for reading. Best for use with big maps of that era.
Marking the areas, and tracing the movements clarifies.
crazy mashine
Looks great, no scribbles or highlights throughout the book! ????
I bought this to take on a trip around Western Europe. Mr. Hollister has excellent prose. Normally, history books are written in a convoluted style which is indecipherable and dry. Medieval Europe however, is infinitely readable and a great resource. It was a pleasure to read. I will definitely look for more of Mr. Hollister's work and would welcome the recommendation of other works by good history authors.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in an overview of medieval Europe. The author writes in a clear, organized style, though such text-book seriousness is occassionally betrayed by a dry sense of humor. And while openly declaring himself anti-PC, the author does not allow any ideology to directly impede his misssion of telling an engaging story. I originally bought this book to refresh my memory before a Chaucer seminar, and under such circumstances I was well served. I have re-read it since then just for the fun of it. It also makes a good gift for well-read relatives and friends. I do not hesitate in recommending Medieval Europe: A Short History to anyone interested in the topic.
Hollister here presents one of the best introductions to medieval history. I have read this book several times, and each time, I learn something new or gain a new insight. As other reviewers have said, the book is well organized, coherent, and comprehensive. It is replete with relevant maps, charts, timelines, and photographs, but without degenerating into childishness. Its multiple bibliographies suggest where to find useful sources, both primary and modern.

The best thing about the writing style of the book is the way it presents history in the form of ongoing dynamic tension: east v. west, church v. state, aristocracy v. peasants, invaders v. defenders, one nation v. another, reformers v. establishment, monarch v. nobility, etc. The tides of history are moved by such forces.

Bear in mind that this book is only a survey of medieval Europe, so everyone can say it doesn't cover some topic or another in enough detail. However, its lasting effect is that it introduces topics in such a way that it makes you want to move on to other sources to study some of them in more detail. As a first course, it does its job in whetting your appetite.

p.s. I'm not sure what's with the kooky price here. Find it used or in a library. Earlier editions are better.

p.p.s. My review applies only to the Hollister editions, not the work of Bennett.
I am a graduate student who has recently begun teaching first-year undergrads. The Hollister and Bennett book is the main text book for a Medieval Period General course, and the students use it to supplement their core readings. The textbook, a general synthesis of the history of Western Europe, is decent and fairly comprehensive, written and updated by experts in the field. However, it has been a long time since I've read a general textbook, and found the lack of footnote references a bit unnerving. The book does, however, provide lists for further reading at the end of each chapter, but these are very selective.