Savage Continent

Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

Keith Lowe

Picador

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Winner of the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize

“A superb and immensely important book.”—Jonathan Yardley,
The Washington Post

The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years...

The end of World War II in Europe is remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, but the reality was quite different. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed, and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted—such as police, media, transport, and local and national government—were either entirely absent or compromised. Crime rates soared, economies collapsed, and whole populations hovered on the brink of starvation.. In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent where individual Germans and collaborators were rounded up and summarily executed, where concentration camps were reopened, and violent anti-Semitism was reborn. In some of the monstrous acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands. Savage Continent is the story of post–war Europe, from the close of the war right to the establishment of an uneasy stability at the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is the chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post–World War II Europe for years to come.

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Book Excerpts

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Savage Continent
PART IThe Legacy of WarI thought you'd be there waiting for me ... What greeted me instead was the lingering stench of ashes and the empty sockets of our ruined home.Samuel Puterman on his return to Warsaw, 19451;2
 
 We could see the physical destruction but the effect of vast economic disruption and political, social, and psychological destruction ... completely escaped us.Dean Acheson, US Under-Secretary of State, 19471Physical DestructionIn 1943 the travel book publisher Karl Baedeker produced a guide to the Generalgouvernement -- that part of central and

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Reviews

Praise for Savage Continent

"A superb and immensely important book."—The Washington Post

“A breathtaking, numbing account of the physical and moral desolation that plagued Europe in the late 1940s. Authoritative but never dry, stripping away soothing myths of national unity and victimhood, this is a painful but necessary historical task superbly done.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Lowe’s work, thoroughly researched and written with scrupulous objectivity, promises to be the year’s best book on European history.”—Financial Times (London)

“Deeply harrowing. Moving, measured, and provocative. A compelling picture of a continent physically and morally brutalized by slaughter.”—The Sunday Times (London)

“A graphic and chilling account of the murderous vengeance, terroristic reprisals, and ferocious ethnic cleansing that gripped Europe following—and often as a direct continuation of—the Second World War. Keith Lowe’s excellent book paints a little-known and frightening picture of a continent in the embrace of lawlessness, chaos, and unconstrained violence.”—Ian Kershaw, author of The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944–1945

Savage Continent is a powerful and disturbing book, painstakingly researched and written with both authority and an impressive historical sweep.”—James Holland, author of Italy’s Sorrow and The Battle of Britain


In the Press

“Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II” by Keith Lowe - The Washington Post
Keith Lowe on Europe in the aftermath of World War II
- The Washington Post

SAVAGE CONTINENT by Keith Lowe | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of SAVAGE CONTINENT Europe in the Aftermath of World War II. A breathtaking, numbing account of the physical and moral desolation that plagued Europe in the late 1940s.
- Kirkus Reviews

Nonfiction Review: Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe. St. Martin’s, $30 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-00020-0
Hitler’s defeat did not end WWII, writes historian Lowe (Inferno: The Fiery Devastation of Hamburg, 1943) in this horrific account of years of violence and misery that immediately followed the war. Ci
- Publishers Weekly


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About the Author

Keith Lowe

Keith Lowe is the author of two novels and the critically acclaimed history Inferno: The Fiery Devastation of Hamburg, 1943.  He is widely recognized as an authority on the Second World War, and has often spoken on TV and radio, both in Britain and the United States. Most recently he was an historical consultant and one of the main speakers in the PBS documentary The Bombing of Germany which was also broadcast in Germany. His books have been translated into several languages, and he has also lectured in Britain, Canada and Germany. He lives in North London with his wife and two kids.

Keith Lowe

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Available Formats and Book Details

Savage Continent
Europe in the Aftermath of World War II
Keith Lowe

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
July 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250033567
ISBN10: 125003356X
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 496 pages, Includes two 8-page black-and-white photograph sections
$20.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
July 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250000200
ISBN10: 1250000203
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 480 pages, Plus two 8-page b&w inserts
$30.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
July 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250015044
ISBN10: 1250015049
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 400 pages, Plus one 16-page color photo insert
$9.99
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Picador

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