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Germany: A History by [Russell, Francis]
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Germany: A History Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Kindle Edition, Dec 10 2015
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CDN$ 9.99

Length: 195 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Product Description

Here, from New York Times bestselling historian Richard Russell, is the dramatic story of Germany - from the rise of Charlemagne to the age of Martin Luther, from the Thirty Years' War to the iron rule of Otto von Bismarck, and from the formation of the Weimar Republic to the fighting of two world wars.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2119 KB
  • Print Length: 195 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: American Heritage / New Word City; 1 edition (Dec 10 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0197WRONC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,542 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By ted on March 24 2016
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very brief but interesting coverage from Arminius to today.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9abf1da4) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99c2d594) out of 5 stars lots of interesting info, easy to read Feb. 28 2016
By Mageditor - Published on
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I bought this book because I had never learned enough about Germany, even though I suffered through two years of German in college.

It provided an excellent overview that was easy to read, yet provided lots of interesting details. For example, we learn that Caesar wrote that Germans spent their whole life in hunting and the practice of war. A few years later, Tacitus reported that the Germans were a “fair-haired, fiercely blue-eyed people who hated peace.” Yet the author points out that by the 20th Century, Germany was the most racially mixed country in Europe, despite the fictions of Aryan purity spread by Wagner, Kaiser William, and Hitler.

The book covers a lot of ground and many personalities and events, including the Roman and Medieval periods, Charlemagne, the Renaissance, and the Holy Roman Empire. The book seemed a little superficial at times, especially when covering the First and Second World Wars, but those events are richly described elsewhere. The book clips along at a good pace and provides much interesting material.

Bismarck – the “Iron Chancellor” and Europe’s foremost statesman at the time – brilliantly united the North German Confederation in the 1860s with the kingdoms of Bavaria, Saxony, and Wurttemberg, as well as five grand duchies, thirteen other duchies and principalities, and the free cities of Hamburg, Bremen, and Lubeck.

This new “Second Empire” of Germany was “florid and prosperous… the new-rich nation of Europe, with all the arriviste confidence of wealth and the arrogance bred of insecurity,” observes the author.

The history of Germany reads like a tragic epic whose ending we know, as we watch succeeding generations bring about horrendous cataclysms. With “uncompromising belligerency,” Bismarck brings on the brutal Franco-Prussian War in 1871. His successors as Chancellor continue the tradition, helping to create the Agadir Crisis in Morocco and two wars in the Balkans.
“Each ensuring crisis was like a wave that surged farther and farther up the beach until, at the last moment, it receded,” writes the author. “The haunting fear was of the one wave that would not recede, that would finally engulf the shoreline.”

That disaster came to pass in 1914, a “year fated to destroy dynasties, alter the map of Europe, and usher in the age of violence that is still with us,” notes the author. For many Americans today, World War I seems a terrible accident suddenly brought on by the assassination of a minor duke. But the author makes clear that it was the result of years of growing tension, and of “militarism run stark mad,” as President Wilson’s envoy to fruitless peace talks, Col. Edward House, said.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99c2d7bc) out of 5 stars Five Stars March 15 2016
By Rp Walters - Published on
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Very detailed and fascinating
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99c2da20) out of 5 stars Basic but good read. March 6 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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Wanted more detailed time line of events in the 19th century.
Esp 1872 +/- 20 years. Geneology research of German roots.
HASH(0x99c2dd50) out of 5 stars Keeping track is hard to do April 29 2016
By Steve Bate - Published on
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I liked the book, but I had a Kindle version and more maps (some maps!) would have been helpful. Made me realize that the current nation of Germany is a fairly recent concept, when we are used to thinking everything European has been around practically forever, while the U.S. is the "new kid on the block". All the back and forth through the earlier centuries was difficult to keep track of. Awfully glad I didn't grow up in Europe and have to learn their history in detail!
HASH(0x99c2df84) out of 5 stars A readable history of 2000 years in 200 pages June 5 2016
By Cheryl S. - Published on
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Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. It's 2000 years boiled down to 200 pages. It is very readable, but sometimes reverts to almost a list of sentences - each about a leader who ruled and really did nothing (apparently so as to be sure that all 'heads of state/tribe' were covered). It's best when it takes a step back from raw facts and adds commentary.
Most of western Europe is really composed of pre-existing locals and various Germanic tribes that swept in at the fall of the Roman empire. All are covered at first, then only current Germany/France/East Europe, finally only core Germany.