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Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power


Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power

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    Available in PDF Format | Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power.pdf | English
    Christopher Clark(Author)

Christopher Clark's Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power is a short, fascinating and accessible biography of one of the 20th century's most important figures.

King of Prussia, German Emperor, war leader and defeated exile, Kaiser Wilhelm II was one of the most important - and most controversial - figures in the history of twentieth-century Europe. But how much power did he really have?
Christopher Clark, winner of the Wolfson prize for his history of Prussia, Iron Kingdom, follows Kaiser Wilhelm's political career from his youth at the Hohenzollern court through the turbulent decades of the Wilhelmine era into global war and the collapse of Germany in 1918, to his last days. He asks: what was his true role in the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War? What was the nature and extent of his control? What were his political goals and his success in achieving them? How did he project authority and exercise influence? And how did his people really view him?

Through original research, Clark presents a fresh new interpretation of this contentious figure, focusing on how his thirty-year reign from 1888 to 1918 affected Germany, and the rest of Europe, for years to come.

'Clark's fresh and enlightening history brings the Kaiser's life into critical and illuminating review'
  German History

Christopher Clark is a lecturer in Modern European History at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge. His book Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600 to 1947 was the winner of the Wolfson Prize for History.

Clark's fresh and enlightening history ... brings the Kaiser's life into critical and illuminating review (German History)

2.2 (8016)
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Review Text

  • By Andy on 13 November 2011

    Having read Christopher Clark's Iron Kingdom I did not hesitate in reading Kaiser Wilhelm II, Life in Power. I was not disspointed.History has been brutal to Kaiser Wilhelm portraying him as a warmongering and power hungry figure, vain and foolish causing the destruction of the Hohenzollern Empire his forefathers worked so tirelessly to create.Clark really uncovers the layers upon layers of the complex personality that is Wilhelm the Second. The book is a breathtaking study in the psyche of leader taking us through his childhood and early years as well as his years in power. His disliking of his father, envy of Bismarck and increasing lack of any authority as the First World War progresses are amongst the intriguing facts that Clark brings to front.Clark really does a fine job decoding Wilhelm the tragic figure that lost a crown and an empire and paved the way for the horrors that were to descend upon Germany in the years to come, one which he watched in horror from his exile in Holland.

  • By p Goldsmith on 21 May 2014

    An unexpectedl sympathetic reading of the Kaiser which clarifies further how Ludendorff the true architect of Germany's final failure in WW1 and the person who sought armistice had to thrust the blame from himself so put it on the Kaiser and later on hte Jews and indeed anyone else. He was not unbright though with clear (even and especially to those who served and were closest to him) personality defects, and unable (as had his predecessors been) to escape from Prussia's history and so called constitution.

  • By Desmond on 3 October 2014

    This is the first biography I have read on the Kaiser. solid but the author appears to get bored in places. Wilhelm and his struggles with diplomatic relations however are fascinating. I would recommend this book to any one who has an interest in early 20th century Germany.

  • By mcculld on 14 August 2014

    A sympathetic, though not uncritical, re telling of a controversial life. Outlines the basis for Clarke's controversial view on the outbreak of WWI. Very readable.

  • By stephen newton on 16 July 2015

    A good book with an insight to the rush for war by a man who was prone to making rash statements without thinking of the consequences.

  • By MysteronMan on 6 July 2016

    Very interesting in its interpretations but not quite as in-depth or as exhaustive as I was hoping for.Towards the end it sort of petered out as though the author lost interest.

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