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Massie's sweeping narrative centers around the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, highlighting this as one of the major tensions that led to WW I. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is a case study in the limits of a particular style of history. Massie's previous biographically focused narrative histories, Peter the Great ( LJ 9/15/80) and Nicholas and Alexandra ( LJ 7/67), succeeded intellectually because of the nature of autocratic decision making. The British and German systems were too complicated and too democratic to respond to a biographical focus. This massive volume, while reminding us of the importance of individuals in decision making, nevertheless ultimately misrepresents the Anglo-German rivalry as essentially a conflict of personalities. The naval race, purportedly the book's focus, is submerged in a sea of anecdotes about ministers and monarchs. Many are interesting; few are original. Moreover, neither Massie's text nor his bibliography shows significant traces of the immense body of German-language scholarship on this complex subject. Long and intricate for the general reader, this is incomplete for the serious student. Paul Kennedy's equally massive The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism (Allen & Unwin, 1980) is no less well written and provides a much more comprehensive account. BOMC main selection.
- D.E. Showalter, U.S. Air Force Acad., Colorado Springs
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book provided an excellent read although I personally found the title misleading. It is not about the history/development of the pre 1914 Dreadnought battleship with a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Arnold Marshall
Dreadnought is a thoroughly enjoyable history of Europe at the outbreak of WWI, certainly one of the most readable. Robert K. Massie has a gift for bringing history to life. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ben Oboe
Robert Massie is the sort of writer that makes you forget you're reading a 1,000 page history book. The writing just flows that well. Dreadnought is not an exception to this. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2013 by Rodge
I think Robert Massie is a great writer. His epic history, Peter the Great, reads like a novel and, because I so enjoyed that book, I bought his Nicholas and Alexandra and was... Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2010 by C. J. Thompson
Despite the grand title, "Dreadnought" is not a maritime shoot-'em-up in the grand tradition of naval battles. Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by Melvin Sico
Like my title suggests, the book was a very long one [908 pages in my copy]. Even so, I could not put it down. It was very well written and there were numerous pictures. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Kellen
I recieved this book as a birthday gift from a friend of mine whose taste I trust when it comes to history. Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by Bill Barranco
I learned more about world history by reading this book than I think I ever did in High School. This book was a plethora of knowledge. Read morePublished on July 19 2003 by Shawn Marchinek
Everyone has their favorite writers, I suppose, and Massie is one of mine. He is ontologically incapable of writing a dull sentence. Read morePublished on June 16 2003 by Frank J. O'Connor