This new volume in the Rise of Modern Europe series gives a broad picture of European history from 1715 to 1740 that goes beyond political-military events to evaluate social, economic, religious, scientific and artistic development. Excellent editing has resulted in a crisp, vivid style. Important factors common to all of Europe determine the divisions of subject matter, with the resultant cohesiveness of a panorama rather than separate national portraits. The period described was one of exhaustion and recovery after the wars of Louis XIV. It was a period of shifting alliances, treaties, quarrels, bargains, intimidations to establish a balance of power. It was a period of economic progress based on improvement of old methods, the beginning of modern commercial methods. The author discusses the quasi-feudal leadership of the Old Regime; the administration of justice and patronage, the provisions for the poor, the insane, the criminal; court manners and etiquette; the fine arts; political leaders; the beginnings of modern engineering. He traces the pattern of rebellion among intellectuals, their question of ecclesiastical authority and the divine right of kings. At the close of the period, the precarious balance collapsed; Europe was again a battlefield.