Reviews of Books

Eastward shift

Sunday 02 March 1997 BusinessWeek, Joseph Mandel
Europe: A History

Ever hear of Slavkov? Odds are you haven't. The Moravian town is one of the many places, people, and things Norman Davies pulls out of the main story - in often quirky ''time capsules'' - to highlight in his one-volume saga, Europe: A History. Why Slavkov? It's the site of one of Napoleon's victories, better known by its German name, Austerlitz. This name game plays to Davies' revisionist goal: to give proper recognition to East and Central European cultures slighted by Western historians.

Davies, of the University of London's School of Slavonic & Eastern European Studies, cautions that Western biases toward the East have led to grave ''miscalculations of diplomats, businesspeople, and academics.'' And with Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic prime candidates to join NATO and the European Union, the time is ripe to ask: ''What is Europe?'' and ''Where does Europe end?"

Read more