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Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  11 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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Greg D'Avis
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.
Álvaro Athayde
Sep 14, 2014 Álvaro Athayde rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Pholland27
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.
Hadrian
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
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
...more
Czarny Pies
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.

Cynthia
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
...more
Dr.
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.
Straker
Concise, accessible, and well written. An excellent choice for those who want a solid overview of the Iron Chancellor's life & career.
Charles Puskas
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.
More about A.J.P. Taylor...
The Origins of the Second World War The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848-1918 (History of Modern Europe) The First World War: An Illustrated History The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918 English History 1914-45 (History of England)

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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.” 12 likes
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