A Road Trip Through History
Martin Walker on Geert Mak's European travels.
Travels Through theTwentieth Century
By Geert Mak.
Translated by Sam Garrett.
Pantheon 876 pp. $35
In the year before the millennium, Dutch journalist Geert Mak traveled through Europe in a small van furnished with a mattress and a hotplate, on one of the world’s most thoroughly depressing journeys. His lively yet erudite account of the continent’s preceding century of wars, genocides, and gulags, and of its subsequent recovery, originally published in daily installments in the pages of Holland’s NRC...