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Melville House UK: Eurovision!

A History of Modern Europe Through the World’s Greatest Song Contest

**For sale only in the UK and its territories.**

Do you think the world of the Eurovision Song Contest, with its crazy props, even crazier dancers, and crazier still songs has nothing to do with serious European politics? Think again. The contest has been a mirror for cultural, social, and political developments in Europe ever since its inauguration, when an audience in dinner jackets and ball gowns politely applauded each song. It has been a voice of rebellion across the Iron Curtain, an inspiration for new European nations in the 1990s and 2000s, the voice of liberation for both sexual and regional minorities. It even once triggered a national revolution.

Eurovision! charts both the history of Europe and the history of the Eurovision Song Contest over the last six decades, and shows how seamlessly they interlink — and what an amazing journey it has been.

CHRIS WEST is an author, ghostwriter, and marketer. His books include Journey to the Middle Kingdom, The Beermat Entrepreneur, and First Class: a History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and daughter.

“A feast for any Eurovision fan. As thorough a history of the contest as anyone could desire.” —Graham Norton

“This book definitely gets douze points from me.” —Mel Giedroyc

“A cornucopia of everything I wanted to know about modern history and the Eurovision Song Contest.” —Katrina Leskanich, Katrina and the Waves

“It’s a toss-up which will be first: England winning the World Cup again, or the UK winning Eurovision again. While you’re waiting, this book is the perfect companion.” —Tim Rice

“I’ve always thought Eurovision was just a joke, but Chris West shows how it has always been a mirror of cultural and political change. But he does give us some laughs too.” —Robert Tombs, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge

“For Europhiles, Europhobes and the Euro-cautious alike: witty, informed and insightful.” —Alison Light, author of Common People and senior associate at Pembroke College, Oxford

“Surprisingly erudite on Europe, its failings, and its triumphs, it’s a timely, readable and fun book!” —Tim Judah, author of In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine

“A highly entertaining history of modern Europe through the prism of Eurovision. This book shows that the contest has an essential role to play in international diplomacy.” —Nicola Clase, presenter of The Swedish Ambassador’s Guide to Eurovision on BBC Radio

“I curse Chris West for making Eurovision so entertaining I shall have to go back to watching it. He interweaves the often comic stories of the contest with the sometimes tragic recent history of our continent. All of human genius, and our capacity for screwing up, are here, told with wit, wisdom and humanity.” —Sir Stephen Wall, former British Permanent Representative to the EU

“A fascinating and accessible journey through post-war European politics. I’ve got several people already clamouring to borrow my copy after my enthusiastic ‘Did you know…?’ sharing moments as I was reading it.” —Debbie Young, author of Quick Change

“Reveals little-known parallels between the European Union and the Eurovision Song Contest. An essential read for followers of politics and popular music alike.” —Gordon Lewis, editor-in-chief of Vision (the UK’s Eurovision Magazine)
“This well-written book, with lots of historical facts, is a great read for those Eurovision fans that love a bit of European history, politics (not that the Eurovision Song Contest is political, of course!) and international relations thrown in, in an easily accessible format, and a little bit of tongue in cheek Eurovision humour for good measure in places. West finishes with his belief that Eurovision’s quirky, tolerant, heartfelt humanity is needed more than ever. We couldn’t agree more.” The Eurovision Times