Tony Judt 's Comprehensive Account Of Europe Following World War II Essay

Tony Judt 's Comprehensive Account Of Europe Following World War II Essay

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Postwar, Tony Judt’s comprehensive account of Europe following World War II, covers each European nation and the social, political, and economic issues that arose in the following WWII. The majority of Judt’s book focuses on the influence of countries like England, France, and Germany as leaders in political, economic, and military affairs. However, states like Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands are given proper consideration as integral components of the complex interdependent community that is Europe. Although this book is over ten years old, issues faced by the Dutch for the last seventy years continue to be relevant, and new stories arising from the same old issues can be found on the covers of Dutch newspapers even today. Topics such as the Dutch reaction to immigration, family planning and problems in the welfare system, and the Netherlands’ relationship with other European nations have been at the forefront of Dutch politics since the end of World War II. The progression and development of these topics shown in the pages of Postwar can be illuminating for the current Dutch population. While it may not always point to the source of the problem, or its solution, it may help reveal a little bit about Dutch society as a whole and provide important context for policy makers as these issues are addressed today.
Migrant and minority populations have always had a tumultuous history in the Netherlands. While the subjects of Dutch fear and subjugation have shifted, the fear itself has always been present. At the end of WWII, Jewish victims of the holocaust left Germany to return to their home countries. In the Netherlands alone, there were almost 150,000 Jews before the war. Over 100,000 of them were deported and of those 100,000, ...


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...wing opposition could lead to fracturing and eventual disintegration of the Union. Judt’s narrative could reveal, especially for the Netherlands, the importance of international cooperation that may be understated in the current political environment.
Overall, Judt is able to present a comprehensive account of European history that provides context for major issues facing Europe in general, and the Netherlands in particular. This history is essential for the current Dutch generation as it allows the policy makers and Dutch citizens to understand the history of the issues they face now, and how they have changed in the different political climates since WWII. History cannot be discounted when addressing current affairs. As Judt states in the final line of his book, “‘European Union’ may be a response to history, but it can never be a substitute” (Judt 2005, 831).

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