Iwas especially pleased when the editors of this series asked me to writethis volume, as the first book written by a practicing historian I ever bought was that of John Roberts, Europe 1880-1945, published in 1967, which previously closed the Longman series on the history of Europe. Roberts began his book by remarking that: “One big difference between ourselves and our predecessors centuries ago, is our acceptance of historical change.” One of the reasons that I found writing this book to be a novel challenge is that this proposition is no longer self-evident. We are certainly as aware of change as the generation writing in 1967 was, but we are much more worried about it. We are painfully aware of the cost of change, but also of the cost of refusing to change. We are skeptical of simple ideologies of progress, which are now frequently cast off as outdated, or even demonized as “the Enlightenment master narrative”. Anti-modern ideologies have fared even worse. The result of disenchantment with linear versions of history (either progressive betterment, or alternatively deterioration from a golden age) has led many intellectuals and academics to adopt a pot pourri of disconnected snippets that subvert any coherent picture and call it postmodernism. Some recent attempts at an overall history of Europe, such as the illuminating book by Richard Vinen, A History in Fragments (2001), aim deliberately at showing that modernity produces division and fractionalization, and that there is no coherent master narrative. Mark Mazower’s brilliant The Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century (1999) puts a needed spotlight on the underside of European existence.