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The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Germany’s last kaiser was born in Potsdam on January 27, 1859, the son of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Princess Vicky, Queen Victoria’s eldest child. William was born with a withered arm---possibly the result of cerebral palsy---and many historians have sought in this a clue to his behavior in later life. He was believed mad by some, eccentric by others. Possessed of a ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published April 25th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 21st 2001)
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Jen
So many times when I read a biography, I turn the last page not at all convinced I could pick out the subject on the street. I would have nothing to say to them. In this case, I worry that if I ran into Kaiser Wilhelm II, I would come across as a crazed stalker who had been living in his bathroom for his entire life and destroy the tenuous hold this man had on sanity.

He once stated that given his circumstances, it's remarkable he was sane at all (I'm not quoting exactly, as I'm immensely lazy an
...more
Barbara
I FINALLY finished this. It was interesting, but just too detailed for me. Several times I considered abandoning it, but I decided to keep reading. The other Last Kaiser book I read (by Tyler Whittle) was much more readable.

My favorite part of this book was toward the end, where Wilhelm's final years in exile were described. (Perhaps it was only my favorite because I finally saw that the end was near!) It was fascinating to see how someone who had always lived such a public life coped with a ver
...more
Val
Giles MacDonogh has tried to make his subject more interesting, but is not quite so bothered about evidence. For example:
The Kaiser says his childhood was happy, MacDonogh has decided it wasn't, William later fell out with his parents, sisters and some of his sons, MacDonogh has decided that he never got on with them. His mother is usually considered over-indulgent, MacDonogh has decided she was cold and critical, although the examples of criticism he gives could be better explained as pleas for
...more
Jbondandrews
A very informative biography of the last Kaiser. It reminded me of course of the 1975 TV Series Edward the Seventh, which featured many wonderful British actors and actresses in the title roles. A very worthwhile read.
Alicia
Loathsome. The author manifests a strange agenda to slander the subject's mother.
Brian
A superbly detailed, well-balanced account of the life of the infamous Kaiser.
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Bright Young Things: November 2014- The Last Kaiser by Giles MacDonogh 27 13 Dec 11, 2014 01:47PM  
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Giles MacDonogh (born 1955) is a British writer, historian and translator.

MacDonogh has worked as a journalist, most notably for the Financial Times (1988–2003), where he covered food, drink and a variety of other subjects. He has also contributed to most of the other important British newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the Times . As an historian, MacDonogh concentrates on central Eur
...more
More about Giles MacDonogh...
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