Ian Armour's authoritative history of Eastern Europe spans the turbulent years from 1740 to 1918. Armour provides a compelling account of how the concept of Eastern Europe as a distinct region emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century. It traces how the big powers, most notably the Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian Empires, jostled for control and examines the roots of nationalism which were nurtured by harrowing poverty and social turmoil. The book is structured to lead the reader chronologically through a number of themes including the struggle by rulers to modernize; the disruptive power of nationalism; and the persistence of supranational state structures that, in turn, resisted and promoted modernisation and nationalism. Armour provides fresh and clear insights into key events and people, as well as analysis of the concepts and historical terms of the period. This is an invaluable text for students interested in Eastern Europe during its formative years.