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Europe’s Steppe Frontier, 1500-1800

In Europe’s Steppe Frontier, acclaimed historian William H. McNeill analyzes the process whereby the thinly occupied grasslands of southeastern Europe were incorporated into the bodies-social of three great empires: the Ottoman, the Austrian, and the Russian. McNeill benefits from a New World detachment from the bitter nationality quarrels of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century which inspired but also blinded most of the historians of the region. Moreover, the unique institutional adjustments southeastern Europeans made to the frontier challenge cast indirect light upon the peculiarities of the North American frontier experience.

264 pages | Illus. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1964

History: European History

Reviews

“To say that this is the best available introduction to the international history of Eastern Europe may sound to the author a left-handed compliment. . . . Perhaps McNeill himself will oblige us with a sequel.”–Historical Journal

Historical Journal

“From William H. McNeill, whose volume on The Rise of the West won such high praise, we have a study of Hungary and the neighboring regions—Europe’s steppe frontier from the Great Alföld through Moldavia and Transylvania to the Sea of Azov—which impressively demonstrates the impact of the open frontier on European history in its formative period.… No comparable area of the world’s surface has a more complicated history, and it is only possible here to make a crude summary of Professor McNeill’s argument.… An outline such as this fails to do justice to the richness of Professor McNeill’s narrative, and in particular to the skill with which he interweaves not only the histories of a dozen or more different peoples but also the economic, religious, and social strands in the story.“

Geoffrey Barraclough | New York Review of Books

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER TWO: OTTOMAN ADVANCE to 1570
CHAPTER THREE: TIME OF TROUBLES 1570- 1650
CHAPTER FOUR: THE VICTORY OF BUREAUCRATIC EMPIRE, 1650-1740
CHAPTER FIVE: THE CLOSURE OF THE FRONTIER, 1740-1800
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
INDEX

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