European History for the ignorant
May 29, 2015 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I was staring at the map of Europe yesterday, and I realized that I know very little history. To start I would like to learn about the Colonial Period and the major power players there in. I seem to be ingesting a lot of podcasts and audiobooks lately so that would be perfect. To be clear, I'm looking for an introductory level work to get me started.

I'm aware of Hardcore History, and I'm ok with paying too.
posted by aeighty to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Revolutions podcast is currently winding toward the end of the French Revolution but I believe that when it finishes France, it'll be hitting Haiti. It's already done the English Civil War, which is too early for you, and the American Revolution, which will touch on some of your interests in its discussion of British politics, but is also not precisely what you want. It's also pretty fun to listen to; it's the only history podcast I listen to regularly.

I have an MA in history but my interest is medieval history and I find it plenty accessible on subjects I don't know that much about.
posted by immlass at 10:45 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here is a 2 minute crash course video on the Netherlands.
posted by Mac-Expert at 10:46 AM on May 29, 2015

Best answer: I was staring at the map of Europe yesterday, and I realized that I know very little history.

Ok, so right out of the gate I'm not answering your question about audiobooks, but if you like maps, you may find the Colin McEvedy atlases fascinating. The "Pengiun Atlas of History" series of his are uniformly short (~100pg) books with a page of text and amazing maps. You probably want the "The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History" and the especially "The Penguin Atlas of Modern History to 1815". I dare you to buy just the two though.
posted by bonehead at 10:50 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

You could check out the In Our Time history feed. It's not all European history, nor is it in any particular order but I love that show and learn a ton from it.
posted by carolr at 10:57 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I stopped listening after the latest changeover in hosts, but there are some great old episodes of Stuff You Missed in History Class. A highlight was a series of episodes about the Bourbon dynasty.

I'll always recommend In Our Time, which isn't only focused on history, but there are some great historical episodes.

And, I know you didn't ask for U.S. history, but I love Backstory, so consider that a general recommendation and one for anybody who comes here later.
posted by General Malaise at 10:59 AM on May 29, 2015

It's text and pictures, but the Cartoon History of the Universe / Modern World is pretty good about this. Volume 3 is post-Rome to the Rennaisance, and the Modern World books are post-1492. They do world history in addition to Europe.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:29 PM on May 29, 2015

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