New book: The history of modern Europe told through the Eurovision Song Contest

“Eurovision! A History of Modern Europe Through the World’s Greatest Song Contest”. That’s the title of a new book released today. It does exactly what the title says: Tells the recent story of Europe, through the Eurovision Song Contest.

The book, “Eurovision! A History of Modern Europe Through the World’s Greatest Song Contest, was released today the 20th of April. It goes through the various years from just before Eurovision started to where we are today: 1955 to 2016, year by year.

Below you can see a bit from 1992. A year where Europe would undergo many changes in terms of what is now the European Union, but also a year where Yugoslavia would cease to exist. And in Eurovision, it was the start of a three year in a row win for Ireland.

The 1992 contest was held on Europe Day, the anniversary of the announcement of the plans for Jean Monnet’s European Coal and Steel Community back in 1950. This was appropriate: earlier in the year, the Maastricht Treaty had been signed, marketing a huge step forward for the European integration.

… Oddly, in the year of such forward-looking Euro-triumph, there was a retro air to the 1992 contest. The set was elegant – designed around the prow of a viking ship – but static, unlike the shape -shifting laser kingdoms of the 1980s. Alongside the electric guitars and Yamaha DXy synths, we saw accordions feature in several numbers. Belgium’s Morgane sung that her generation was beneath its confident appearance, afraid, because it lacked emotion and connection to the past.

… If Linda Martin’s win was the start of Ireland’s run as darlings of Eurovision, 1992 also saw the start of an Irishman come to the force in political Europe. That man was Ray MacSharry, who had once been MEP for Connacht-Ulster (the same role that would later be performed by the 1970 Eurovision winner Dana) and was now European Commissioner for Agriculture.

From “Eurovision! A History of Modern Europe Through the World’s Greatest Song Contest” – about 1992.

“Eurovision! A History of Modern Europe Through the World’s Greatest Song Contest is written by Chris West with Melville House UK as publisher. It is now available for purchase on, among others, Amazon or Waterstones.

Liked what you've read? Subscribe to our Eurovision news!

Read more in the news archive