Read March 2007
This is a well-written and well-set out account of the history of Eastern Europe from the end of the nineteenth century until the end of the Second World War.
The book has a somewhat encyclopaedic approach and is wide ranging in that it does not ignore geography of economics. Yet throughout the book has the feeling of giving of giving a useful overview rather than a detailed account of any specific period of history.
The premise on which the book is based is that there is a separate geographical and socio-economic entity of Eastern Europe as distinct from the western part of the continent. The author admits that he is retrospectively affected by the Cold War Divide and by the convenience of the ethnic line formed by the eastern borders of the German and Italian speaking world. This approach, of course, incorporates the Czech lands into the East whereas by many indicators they are more part of the West.
Overall the book is an excellent background text for understanding the background to the region.