This book is a compromise between historical narrative, synthesis, and analysis. It is divided into two major parts, the revolutionary period 1715-1848, during which the ideological and industrial base of the contemporary world evolved; then, the most recent period, an age of masses in material as in human terms, ending in our own day. Each of these sections begins with some chapters that give an overview of the continent and the world in which the events that it describes took place; the economic background, the atmosphere, the mentality of the times. Then follow sections devoted to internal affairs and to the development in particular states and regions-Britain, France, Northern or Eastern Europe-which had relevance to contemporary events. Last are chapters about how people lived and the things that affected and reflected their way of life and thought. Humbling and middling people, and the rich as well-their food, their housing, the warp and woof of their existence. History is a story of them, not a contributors to the present which soon becomes the past, but living their own lives. This volume is has striking passages based frequently on diaries, contemporary journals, and other records of first-hand experience. There are 210 full-color and halftone illustrations and 27 full-color maps.