It is absolutely impossible to write an adequate history of Europe, from the French Revolution to the present, in a few hundred pages. That having been said, one must admit that Professor Neill has made a remarkably good stab at it. He has a talent for exorcizing the non-essentials and for disengaging relevant historical themes. Of course, much of the color, and almost all of the subtleties, of history are lost along with the non-essentials; and, of course, much of the reduction of history to themes is an exercise in editorial synthesis. Still, those are the essential tools of the popularizer--tools which Neill handles expertly; and to say that there is no need of expert popularizers is to say that the non-historian has no need of history. Teetering on the horns of this dilemma, one is compelled to admit that this impossible project does an impressive job of explaining to the general reader the origins and development of modern Europe, and that the book is to be highly recommended to that audience, and to students as well. Unfortunately, the suggested-reading list is not up to the rest of the book, particularly with respect to the period 1919-1945.