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A History of Eastern Europe cover art

A History of Eastern Europe

Written by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
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Publisher's Summary

Eastern Europe has long been thought of as the "Other Europe", a region rife with political upheaval, shifting national borders, an astonishing variety of ethnic diversity, and relative isolation from the centers of power in the West. It has also been, and continues to be, pivotal in the course of world events. A History of Eastern Europe offers a sweeping 1,000-year tour with a particular focus on the region's modern history. In 24 insightful lectures, you'll observe waves of migration and invasion, watch empires rise and fall, witness wars and their deadly consequences - and come away with comprehensive knowledge of one of the world's most fascinating places.

In examining this region's remarkable diversity and contested borders, you'll better understand the ever-present tension between the connections between East and West and the areas of marked contrast. These disparities were clear as the world globalized and the US and Soviet superpowers jockeyed for spheres of influence - epitomized by the imposition of the Iron Curtain across Europe and the rise of the Berlin Wall. And yet, throughout the 20th century and into current times, the connectedness of Eastern Europe to the rest of the world continues to be demonstrated beyond question. This region has made itself felt across the globe through:

  • The political and cultural reverberations of peace movements and armed conflicts
  • The crises of huge population migrations and the new expressions of cultural and economic exchange they spark
  • The successes and struggles of NATO and the European Union
  • And more

Explore the grand sweep of this epic history, from a series of early invasions to the rise of empires to the collapse of communism and into the new challenges of the 21st century. Meet brilliant poets, writers, artists, and other cultural figures who made an impact on Eastern European history.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about A History of Eastern Europe

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An entertaining look into the past

This book was exactly what I was looking for! My family is from Poland and growing up in Canada I always had so many questions. Thank you for making these lectures so comprehensive and engaging.

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Very Absorbing

Really loved the way this was put together. liked how it was throughly put together and the contents that was included

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Needs updating

As I’ve noted in other courses verging on modern history, this course needs updating. The past 10 years have been eventful in Europe and particularly in Eastern Europe (to say the least).

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  • Chris Richardson
  • 2015-11-25

Not much history

Any additional comments?

Just dissapointed that the lectures moved so quickly to WWI and WWII. Glazed over a myriad amount of history so they could talk in depth about 20th century history. Which just plays to audiences not really interested in eastern european history but, how eatern europe relates to western europe and american audiences....just dissapoimted but, execution was excellent.

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69 people found this helpful

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  • Brooke L. Morris
  • 2015-12-05

"MODERN" History of Eastern Europe

Any additional comments?

Very frustrating that this was billed as a "sweeping 1,000-year tour" when the focus was entirely on the past century. Lecturer was excellent, however.

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64 people found this helpful

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  • Peter
  • 2015-12-13

Not A Very Serious History

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not likely

Any additional comments?

This is a very poor history of Eastern Europe in that while it talks a lot about cultures and national stories and consciousnesses, it does little to explain why the major events in Eastern Europe's history happened. There is no economic analysis whatsoever, and so while the listener comes away knowing which poets came from which regions et cetera, the listener does not understand how Eastern Europeans actually lived, and how their livelihoods transformed over the centuries. It does not talk about the Industrial Revolution, or the Emancipation of the Serfs in Russia, or anything of the sort. It talks a lot about the rise of nationalism without saying anything about which economic groups and classes fought for nationalism. I understand that there is limited time to lecture, but not even a cursory explanation was given. Without addressing things like these, even if the listener picks up certain facts about Eastern European history, the listener does not come away with any better understanding of why these things happened.

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56 people found this helpful

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  • Bob
  • 2015-11-29

History You Cannot Do Without

Would you consider the audio edition of A History of Eastern Europe to be better than the print version?

The audio version served my purpose, and that was to learn about Eastern European history as we drove on our holiday trip for ten hours at a time. I was mesmerized with the content and the presentation.

What did you like best about this story?

The sheer scope of Eastern European history is almost impossible to grasp, and only a series of lectures like this can get even a small part of the story across. It is no surprise that Eastern Europeans have different outlooks from those in the West. This series is a great start in putting the background of the current happenings in Eastern Europe and Russia into a current day perspective. The Ukranians, Poles, Czechs, and others have all been there before, multiple times. From Stalin, to Hitler, to Milosevic and other butchers, times have changed, but the memories linger. Is Putin then next international mass murderer?

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15 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 2016-05-15

A good book but not what I was looking for

This was an interesting history of Eastern Europe. It wasn't really what I thought it would be though. I was looking for more information about ancient and medieval eastern Europe. This is not the lecture series for that. There ar 24 lectures (iirc) and by lecture 9 he was already talking about Hitler. This should really be titled a History of Eastern Europe during the Cold War, because that was the focus.

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10 people found this helpful

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  • Quaker
  • 2016-03-05

A fascinating tour through a rich and complex history

Professor Liulevicius is an international treasure and I am grateful that The Great Courses is able to bring him to me on my iPhone. His courses on espionage and on history's greatest voyages of exploration are among my favorite titles on Audible.

BUT Eastern Europe is his specialty, and so I was really looking forward to this series. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I learned surprising things about my own heritage.

I will admit there were moments when I wished I was watching the video version. I've seen bits of it, and the maps illustrating the constantly changing borders of Eastern Europe are very helpful; but if you know the geography, or if you are able to look up a map to glance at while listening (as I did), then you'll be more than satisfied with this rich and nuanced tour of a fascinating part of the world.

Highly recommended.

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9 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2016-01-09

Essential Listening

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Of Lithuanian and Ukrainian Descent it occurs to me that i wish I had this as a kid. In my recent DNA Testing I got Eastern European, Balkans and Italian (Maternal Grandfather). Much of the turmoil in my view was created by the west. So Genetically I have Relatives in Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Hungary, Italy,Russian... Eastern European

What was one of the most memorable moments of A History of Eastern Europe?

the history on the polish-lithuanian commonwealth.

Which scene was your favorite?

The hope in the closing of the lecture series

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All of it

Any additional comments?

A must read of anyone with Eastern European Descent

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  • Kyle
  • 2015-11-20

Interesting History and Entertaining too!

Enjoyed this very much, especially the jokes that are told throughout. It was about time there was a lecture on Eastern Europe.

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  • romuald
  • 2015-12-29

True History of Eastern Europe

If you could sum up A History of Eastern Europe in three words, what would they be?

Understanding and balancing

What other book might you compare A History of Eastern Europe to and why?

Norman Davis "Europa" also presents a talented writer who is at the same time a great historian.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. There is no book I could listen like this.

Any additional comments?

He is no bias, he understands mechanisms and presents his own interpretation of facts and trends, and he is very tactful , and he has a great sense of humor and writing skills. Could it be better?

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7 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 2016-06-10

An Exceptional History

Very few sources give an in depth but understandable telling of Eastern Europe. For many and me included, Eastern Europe fell into the age old stereotype of backlands. I now know the area as a vibrant and history rich area, even more history than you can really point at Western Europe in many cases. Fierce resistance, solid self determination. This audio book is a must read if you enjoy history and learning.

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5 people found this helpful