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Frederick the Great: King of Prussia

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A spellbinding biography of Prussia's soldier-king who changed the face of Europe.

Frederick II, King of Prussia, was a legendary ruler, artistic patron, man of letters, lawgiver, and commander -- in David Fraser's words, "one of the most extraordinary men ever to sit on a throne or command an army." He personally commanded his army in war after war with such supreme skill

Hardcover, 703 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Fromm Intl (first published 2000)
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German History
58th out of 342 books — 183 voters
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The Economist - Books of the Year 2000
20th out of 40 books — 4 voters

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'Aussie Rick'
Mar 30, 2013 'Aussie Rick' rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-military
Once again, David Fraser, author of Knight's Cross: A Life of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel has produced another masterful biography. This beautifully told story of Frederick the Great is an outstanding account of a great military leader. You can certainly feel that Fraser has a love for this subject, even when Frederick has committed a terrible blunder the author tends to put the best light on the event as possible. This is one of the best biographies I have read on Frederick the Great and superio ...more
Mar 08, 2016 Arminius rated it liked it
Shelves: history, nook-book
Frederick II (the great) was the son of Frederick-William I and the Princess Sophia-Dorothea, daughter of George I of Great Britain, and was born in 1712. He was granted by his parents an excellent education. When his father died Frederick ascended into Prussian kingship in 1740.

His goal was to unify the German speaking people of Europe. However, some German speaking people remained vassals of other European countries. To resolve this, he first tried to conquer Silesia. Silesia was a material ri
Bill V
Aug 08, 2016 Bill V rated it liked it
This is my first book on Frederick and my rating is subject to change if I read any other books on him. I thought the book was alright. A lot was devoted to Frederick as a military genius as well as to him as a person and a monarch. There is a good sense of balance.
My main criticism is the lack of full names for several of the people, some major, given either in the text or the index. For example, I would read about some person and would be interested in reading a bit more on him or her on the i
David  Shannon
Mar 06, 2016 David Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Look into the Life of Complex Personality

The author does a fantastic job of presenting the life of Frederick the Great in a fully accessible an comprehensible manner. My only complaint would be that when directly quoting sources mid sentence in the language of the source a little translation could have been provided to clue the reader not versed in French or German some context. Reading this on a Kindle with the ability to highlight and translate helped, except those times when reading
Jun 02, 2009 Walter rated it really liked it
Pretty great book about a pretty amazing guy. I enjoyed the dry prose.

When someone speaks in hyperbole about someone you know there really isn’t that much there, hence: the volume.

He exchanged notes with Voltaire; wrote some great music for the flute; reformed the idea of common law; backed some truly astounding art work; and was smart in the ways of war.

And this from a guy who was tossed in a dungeon by his father as a young man for his smart mouth...and found it a great occasion to think. In
Aug 02, 2015 Doris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really more like 4 1/2 stars, but I liked it well enough to be generous. The author is a little too defensive of the subject sometimes, and there's very much more military history to it than I like. Nonetheless, it was very readable and gave a clear picture of the man and his accomplishments.

Unfortunately, the Kindle version is riddled with typos of the OCR kind: "he" for "be", and vice versa, "hut" for "but", "zo,000" for "20,000".
A too-long review of Der Grosse's life which provides more detail than anyone probably cares about in a very dry manner. While you learn of his triumphs and military innovations, the book also seems to unconsciously make the case for tarnishing his military legacy as you read about his repeated decisions to ignore obviously disadvantageous battlefield conditions and waste his men in disastrous, doomed-from-the-onset actions. A tough guy, and book, to like.
Rich Grisham
Oct 09, 2015 Rich Grisham rated it really liked it
It is a very interesting book about and interesting figure that played an important role in European history. The book also delves into Prussian history, and helps explain the early sentiment of fascism laid down by Fredrick's father Fredrick I. It's a bit dated and the cultural references can by the author are very obscure; however, it is a very well written, and even well paced book.
Charles Puskas
Jun 30, 2013 Charles Puskas rated it really liked it
I read parts of this book along with Nancy Mitford title of the same name. Both follow the same basic chronology, although Fraser provides more detail especially regarding specific battles of the Seven Years war. His maps and charts are helpful. He writes with a strong military expertise.
Oct 29, 2015 Dan rated it it was ok
Fraser has the unfortunate habit of continually trying to justify the "Greatness" of his subject against the attacks of nameless, silent opponents.
Jun 26, 2013 Gerry rated it it was ok
Didn't make it through. The author uses a number of French phrases unexplained. I don't read or speak French, so there were a number of holes I had to gloss over.
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General Sir David William Fraser, OBE (1962), KCB (1973)[1], GCB (1980), (born 30 December 1920) Vallenders, Isington, Alton, Hants, the only surviving son of Brigadier, The Honourable William Fraser (1890-1964) D.S.O., M.C., who was the military attaché at Paris, France, 1938-1939 when the Second World War begun. Sir David was educated at Eton and Christ Church college in the University of ...more
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