RCL: Subjects
EUROPEAN HISTORY The world has changed greatly since BCL3, and so have the questions we ask of history. The collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 recast the historical landscape in far-reaching ways, as once-closed archives started revealing their secrets and long-suppressed peoples began reclaiming their history. The fading of old divisions between "East" and "West" Europe, meanwhile, refocused challenges to the heavily Western-oriented approaches that informed so much historical writing of the last century. Still other trends, notably the accelerating rush of globalization, have greatly broadened the frames of reference by which another twentieth-century construct, Western Civilization, might be revisited and reconsidered. All of this bears upon the bibliographies that follow for European history. Western Europe still casts the longest shadows, but the peoples and regions of Eastern and East Central Europe have gained new definition and clarity, in part through a greatly modified taxonomy more attuned to that historical experience. The introduction of some new fields, such as Communications and Media, reflects the continued drift of social history onto more cultural tracks. Other fields, including Imperialism, Women's History and Jewish History, have been greatly expanded and reworked, in keeping with their growing curricular importance. Alongside this revamped taxonomy, the RCL European History selections offer a substantially new roster of book titles, though the degree of turnover varies according to region and subject matter. The bibliographies for Russia and former Soviet lands, for example, draw heavily from more recent literature, reflecting the new historiographical directions made possible over the past decade or so. This section includes a wide range of works, most of which fall under one of these categories:
  1. Historical monographs (the great majority of titles);
  2. Essay collections, especially those that announce (or given limitations will have to stand in for) important historical departures, controversies or trends;
  3. Primary documents. Teaching history to undergraduates means promoting their capacity for sympathetic imagination, and I have tried to include, alongside several primary document readers, a variety of memoirs, autobiographies, letter collections and the like.
  4. Novels and other fictive works. While the possibilities here are endless, selection has been restricted to a handful of worthy, but less well-known titles.
Return to Subject List