In 1648, Europe was essentially a medieval society. By 1815, it was the powerhouse of the modern world. In exuberant prose, Tim Blanning investigates ?the very hinge of European history? (The New York Times) between the end of the Thirty Y ears? War and the Battle of Waterloo that witnessed five of the modern world?s great revolutions: scientific, industrial, American, French, and romantic. Blanning renders this vast subject digestible and absorbing by making fresh connections between the most mundane details of life and the major cultural, political, and technological transformations that birthed the modern age.