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Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A reevaluation of Bismarck's motives and methods, focusing on the chancellor's rise to power in the 1860's and his removal from office in 1890.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 12th 1967 by Vintage (first published 1955)
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The German Genius by Peter WatsonEarly Germanic Literature and Culture by William WhobreyBasic Theological Writings by Martin LutherGermania by TacitusGerman Philosophy 1760-1860  by Terry P. Pinkard
German History
62nd out of 341 books — 183 voters
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European History
175th out of 473 books — 109 voters

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Greg D'Avis
Jul 16, 2012 Greg D'Avis rated it it was amazing
As good as it gets. This is a simpler companion to "The Struggle for Mastery in Europe," taking on the latter half of the 19th century from the perspective of the man who drove many of the events. Taylor is a rare historian in that he's absolutely fair; he puts his own feelings aside and asks "was it smart?" and "did it work?" Highest recommendation for this one.
Ivana de Bona
Mar 13, 2016 Ivana de Bona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read it for my history class, but I really enjoyed it!
Álvaro Athayde
Sep 14, 2014 Álvaro Athayde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aos políticos portugueses…
Recommended to Álvaro by: Vi-o na livraria.
Curiosamente católicos, sociais-democratas e comunistas, que Bismarck considerava Reichsfeinde, Inimigos do Império, governaram a Alemanha após a derrota de 1945, reunificaram-na em 1990, transformaram-na na economia dominante na Europa e adoptaram a política de amizade com a Rússia por ele defendida.

Seriam, serão bismarckianos? Veremos se são moderados…

Mas sendo ou não bismarckianos tenho poucas dúvidas de que todos os chanceleres alemães do pós-guerra subscreveriam a declaração de Bismarck ao
Dec 21, 2010 Pholland27 rated it really liked it
Very interesting portrait of Bismarck. A reasonably short read, but thick with information. Helps to have some previous amount of knowledge of German politics/history in the early-mid 1800s. This book probably would be best read as addendum reading after other non-fiction about Germany in the lead up to the Great War, as it is so narrowly focused on Bismarck that you are left with an incomplete picture.
A solid introduction to the life of the Iron Chancellor. A solid assessment of his life, focuses on his temperament and his achievements in a balanced way.
Bryan Alexander
Jan 17, 2014 Bryan Alexander rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A fine diplomatic biography.

Things Taylor does right:
-persistent focus on Bismarck's diplomatic career. He assumes we know the historical, military, social and geopolitical context.
-consistent engagement with secondary sources. Besides obviously mastering the primary materials, Taylor takes care to develop his analyses by balancing them against those of others.

There are some fun passages. For example,
The second empire in France was slithering into decay (location 1492, Kindle)

It was the last a
Jan 31, 2012 Cynthia rated it liked it
Oof, so dense. If you aren't very familiar with the ins-and-outs of the German/Prussian/whatever political situation in the 19th century, I would recommend supplementing this book with a good history; I found Tipton's A History of Modern Germany Since 1815 informative and relatively succinct.

I really enjoyed (is that the right word?) the author's attempt at a psychological-political portrait of a very complex man, giving plenty of behind-the-scenes personal detail without drifting into the irre
Czarny Pies
Dec 07, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it liked it
Shelves: european-history
This is a very solid book about the man who significantly expanded the size of the German state and who instituted the first welfare state in Europe. It might be worth more than three stars but I know very little about the historiography of nineteenth century Germany. It is possible that other better biographies of Bismarck may exist.

Mar 02, 2011 Dr. rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-history
Pretty much exactly what I wanted out of a book about Bismarck. Focuses a lot on the eccentric personality of the man and doesn't just bog you down with too much info. I would suggest it to anyone who wants an easy, quick, and at times hilarious book about one of Europe's defining personalities.
Jul 08, 2011 Straker rated it really liked it
Concise, accessible, and well written. An excellent choice for those who want a solid overview of the Iron Chancellor's life & career.
Robert Hepple
Sep 13, 2015 Robert Hepple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short but detailed portrait of the 19th century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Very readable and engrossing.
Charles Puskas
Jul 19, 2011 Charles Puskas rated it it was amazing
Great read, quite opinionated and confident assessment of the statesman with a scholar familiar with the primary and secondary literature.
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Alan John Percivale Taylor was a British historian of the 20th century and renowned academic who became well known to millions through his popular television lectures.
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“[Otto von Bismarck] only considered the interests of his own country - always the worst offense that a statesman can commit in the eyes of foreigners.” 14 likes
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