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, one is compelled to admit that this does an impressive job of explaining to the general reader--and the student--the origins and development of modern Europe. Unfortunately, the suggested-reading list is not up to the rest of the book, particularly with respect to the period 1919-1945.