Author(s): Keith Lowe
The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another 10 years ...Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than 35 million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In this epic book, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. He outlines the warped morality and the insatiable urge for vengeance that were the legacy of the conflict. He describes the ethnic cleansing and civil wars that tore apart the lives of ordinary people from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean, and the establishment of a new world order that finally brought stability to a shattered generation.
Graphic and chilling. This excellent book paints a little-known and frightening picture of a continent in the embrace of lawlessness and chaos -- Ian Kershaw Moving, measured and provocative -- Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times Savage Continent is a powerful and disturbing book, painstakingly researched and written with both authority and an impressive historical sweep -- James Holland Grimly absorbing, conveys the pity of war and its sorry aftermath with integrity and proper sympathy -- Ian Thomson Sunday Telegraph Extraordinary, disturbing and powerful ... it is to Lowe's great credit that he resists the temptation to sit in moral judgment ... it is time we acknowledged the hidden realities of perhaps the darkest chapter in all human history Daily Mail Extraordinary...exceptional...reveals a continent where moral values were often missing and basically lawlessness prevailed for several years -- Trevor James The Historian Impressive and heart-rendering study...Lowe marshals all the elements of the story with cool even-handedness, especially where statistics are concerned, and explains how subsequent generations have manipulated the historical record to suit their own purposes, either to diminish their guilt or demonise others. -- Christopher Silvester Daily Express An excellent account...Lowe's vivid descriptions of Europeans scrambling for scraps of food, rampant theft and 'destruction of morals' are a timely reminder that a certain humility is in order when we look at less fortunate continents today. -- Brendan Simms The Independent A major new historical talent has arrived... a brilliantly organised and scrupulously objective survey of a continent on the floor BBC History Magazine
After spending more than a decade as a history publisher, Keith Lowe is now a full-time writer. He is widely recognised as an authority on the Second World War, and has often spoken on TV and radio, both in Britain and the United States. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Inferno: The Devastation of Hamburg 1943. He lives in north London with his wife and two children.