A wealth of transcriptions of letters to and from Gneisenau. Reading it gives me a much better understanding of the mind of this guy. The commentary iA wealth of transcriptions of letters to and from Gneisenau. Reading it gives me a much better understanding of the mind of this guy. The commentary is a bit dated, though....more
Excellent introduction to France in the Napoleonic Age. Not one of the emperor's admirers, but I felt it was fair when it comes to some of NapoleonicExcellent introduction to France in the Napoleonic Age. Not one of the emperor's admirers, but I felt it was fair when it comes to some of Napoleonic achievements, like public health, education and legislation as well as his faults like undermining democracy and civic freedoms, militarism, personality cult and return of women to a subordinated position.
Interestingly the book also shows many attempts to incorporate disgruntled groups like ancien regime nobles, the catholic church and the population of annexed regions into the empire had made little headway by 1814, which explains the quick collapse of public support in 1814 and 1815. Yet, even in 1815, when there was genuine enthusiasm among peasants and labourers in large parts of France, Napoleon cast his lot with the bourgeoisie.
Leuk, maar vooral taalkundige invalshoek. Ik had liever wat meer gezien over plaatsnamen en historische en sociale ontwikkelingen, of over grootstedelLeuk, maar vooral taalkundige invalshoek. Ik had liever wat meer gezien over plaatsnamen en historische en sociale ontwikkelingen, of over grootstedelijke dialecten....more
Wat interessante invalshoeken over ontwikkelingen in Rusland, maar heel naïef over de rol van het westen in de gebeurtenissen in de Oekraïne. Je kan nWat interessante invalshoeken over ontwikkelingen in Rusland, maar heel naïef over de rol van het westen in de gebeurtenissen in de Oekraïne. Je kan niet alles op het bordje van Poetin schuiven.
En je kan je afvragen hoe historisch een terugblik is die tot 1989 terugloopt....more
Brendan Simms has written a beautiful short book on the defence of the La Haye Sainte farm during the Bat“In der Beschränkung zeigt sich den Meister.”
Brendan Simms has written a beautiful short book on the defence of the La Haye Sainte farm during the Battle of Waterloo. Its garrison throughout the day consisted mostly of Germans and Simms adds new life to their story by introducing a lot of new first hand accounts and academic literature.
The book focuses on the events during the battle, but also offers a good introduction to the King’s German Legion and its role in the long struggle against Napoleon, and a very interesting post-script on the legacy of Waterloo in Hannoverian military history.
My only and minor quibble is that it overemphasises the importance of the farm to the outcome of the battle, but I guess that to justify the writing of the book.
In the torrent of English language books published leading up to the 200th anniversary it stands out for fresh perspective and research. Probably the final account of the struggle for La Haye Sainte from the allied perspective for the foreseeable future.
Take away: given that all three farms across the allied front (La Haye Sainte, Hougoumont and Papelotte) fell or almost fell due to a lack of ammunition, you wonder why arrangements for supply hadn’t been made. Didn’t the British army encounter this problem in their battles in the Peninsula? ...more
Nice book about the cultural side of the resistance against French domination of the Netherlands. Jensen shows that Dutch writers, poets and playwrighNice book about the cultural side of the resistance against French domination of the Netherlands. Jensen shows that Dutch writers, poets and playwrights tried to maintain a separate identity by emphasising ‘typically Dutch’ characteristics like homeliness, frugality and . Under Napoleon’s brother Louis that separate identity was still officially promoted, but after the ‘reunion’ in 1810 it was increasingly subjected to imperial standardisation.
There were also attempts to express the resistance and grief caused by the loss of independence. These harkened back to historical parallels like the Batavian Revolt against the Roman Empire and the Revolt against Spain as well as Biblical references to the struggles of Israel.
To current readers the poetic qualities of these works will not have much value in themselves and they are mostly interesting for their social significance.
Best read in conjunction with Joor's Het Lam en de Adelaar ...more
A pretty solid effort by the Hof, building on previous work. There's a few jibes against anglo-saxon historiography, as expected. What I liked best waA pretty solid effort by the Hof, building on previous work. There's a few jibes against anglo-saxon historiography, as expected. What I liked best was the section quickly detailing the origins, uniform and equipment of each regiment, showing what a hodgepodge the Army of the Lower Rhine was. Bonus is the information on the North German Federal Corps.
Excrutiatingly, there are no references anywhere in the booklet!...more
Sherwig’s well written and researched book focuses on the Guineas and Gunpowder that accompanied British diplomacy in its struggle against revolutiona Sherwig’s well written and researched book focuses on the Guineas and Gunpowder that accompanied British diplomacy in its struggle against revolutionary and Napoleonic France. The book shows how the use of money developed from a contractual agreement on the use of troops like it had been during most of the 18th century to support for cash stripped allies, amounting to 66 million pounds over a quarter century. A considerable a mount in itself, but modest compared to the costs of the navy and the army in this period.
At first the instrument was used selectively as in the Prussian subsidy in 1794, but this caused resentment among other potential allies. Monetary and material support from 1805 was offered to anyone opposing Napoleon. As such the first surge was during the Peninsular War, where Portugal and Spain received support to the value of over 19 million pounds between 1808 and 1815. But the main effort occurred on the European mainland from 1812-5 when Russia, Prussia and Austria together received almost 15 million pounds, and minor states over 6 million. Especially Sweden got a good deal, if you consider it also got Norway out of it and did very little hard work during 1813 and 1814.
After 1805 the British foreign ministers also tried to make it an instrument to influence policy and strategy of allied states but as such it was only successful when foreign troops were under direct control of British generals in the Peninsula. On the other hand this soured the relationships with Portugal and Spain to the point that the former refused to send troops to the Low Countries in 1815.
The weakest link of supplying support to the Continent was that with British trade excluded by the blockade, very little cash and credit was available. Some of Wellington’s tensest letters to London were about the supply of silver and gold coins. But it is hard to fault the effort made by the government on this point.
The material side is astounding as well, showing that British industry became able to respond quickly to large surges in demand. While it had trouble supplying the Prussian army with tens of thousands of muskets in 1807, it supplied a million firearms to the continental allies by 1813. The interesting thing is that these great achievements were quickly accepted by allies as normal, and demands for British support often unrealistic.
While the use of foreign troops through subsidies was cost effective (foreign secretary Castlereagh estimated that a British soldier on the Continent would cost 60 to 70 pounds a year, and foreign governments were offered 10 to 15 pounds per soldier), it surrendered control of those troops to the interests of its allies and also did not help the British public image. Tsar Alexander was utterly disappointed in the lack of British military action where it would have counted in 1805 to 1807. It also allowed Napoleon to paint foreign coalitions as instruments of British policy.
Joor looks at the level of civil unrest in the Kingdom of Holland (1806-10) and the 'Dutch' departments of the French Empire (1810-13). He shows thatJoor looks at the level of civil unrest in the Kingdom of Holland (1806-10) and the 'Dutch' departments of the French Empire (1810-13). He shows that it was pretty high by European standards (despite never reaching full scale armed revolt such as in Spain or Southern Italy) and by Dutch standards of the 17th and 18th centuries. This contradicts earlier books that assumed resistance to French and French backed authority was low.
The highest levels were recorded in 1809 and 1813, with higher levels from 1810-13 than before. Most important source of unrest was military service, followed by tax and smuggling and general opposition to French or French-backed authority. Religious and civilian disputes were rarely behind large scale unrest.
In terms of participants and modes of protest, there is strong continuity with 18th century forms of unrest. Mostly lower middle class craftsmen and farmers (rather than urban and rural poor), a high participation of women and mostly very local and disciplined. Where the protest were non-traditional was in their opposition to expanding role and power of the state (conscription, taxation).
Excellent, based on extensive research of primary sources. Includes lots of case studies, background information on policies, and on the means at the disposal of the authorities to deal with unrest.
Excellent combination of military, art, social and intellectual history of the Prussian defeat at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, and how it affected PrusExcellent combination of military, art, social and intellectual history of the Prussian defeat at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, and how it affected Prussian (and German) society, army and politics. Finally Paret distills this in an discussion of Clausewitz' theories on warfare, which he shows were influenced by much more than just military events.
I love how Paret weaves books like Kleist's The Prince of Homburg and paintings like The Chasseur in the Woods into his argument. Fascinating in their own right, especially in their relevance at the time they were made, they also have a wider significance.
One of the bravest books by a military historian....more
With the return of Twin Peaks to the screen I could help picking this one off the shelf. Ranging from the weird to the hilarious. How can we not be inWith the return of Twin Peaks to the screen I could help picking this one off the shelf. Ranging from the weird to the hilarious. How can we not be interested in how Dale Cooper came to find his strong mental powers, when he first discovered coffee and pie, the letter he received from J. Edgar Hoover, how he lost his cherry or how he met Windom Earle?
Some of the stuff on the Teresa Banks murder conflicts with what happens in Fire Walk With Me, but small beef.
Wide ranging but lacks nothing in depth. Extremely readable. Explains what Prussia was and what it became and how it became central to the German expeWide ranging but lacks nothing in depth. Extremely readable. Explains what Prussia was and what it became and how it became central to the German experience. ...more
Fascinerend boek over de ondergang van boekenketen Polare, opvolger van Selexyz en De Slegte. Dat was een schok omdat de keten illustere boekhandels aFascinerend boek over de ondergang van boekenketen Polare, opvolger van Selexyz en De Slegte. Dat was een schok omdat de keten illustere boekhandels als Kooyker in Leiden, Broese in Utrecht en Scheltema in Amsterdam onder de hoede had. Voor boekenliefhebbers als ik zijn dat, en De Slegte, zaken waar ik urenlang met veel plezier heb staan snuffelen.
Uit het boek doemt het beeld op dat niemand in de boekenbranche na de eeuwwisseling een antwoord had op de opkomst van internet, en dat men te optimistisch is geweest over de lange termijnperspectieven van fysieke boekwinkels. Toen men doorhad wat Bol.com kon betekenen was het al te laat.
Bij de overname door ProCures in 2012 lagen Selexyz en De Slegte al op hun gat. De doorstart naar Polare was vooral een afschrijving van de schulden, er werd niet geïnvesteerd. ProCures dacht bij de oplossing in financiële termen. De lange termijnstrategie was gelegen in het verkrijgen van gunstiger voorwaarden van de leveranciers, met name het verschuiven van het verkooprisico. Hier liepen de uitgevers en het Centraal Boekenhuis (waarin ook de concurrenten zijn vertegenwoordigd) uiteraard niet warm voor.
Op korte termijn hoopte men de schuld af te kunnen lossen door nieuwe huurders voor overtollige panden te vinden en daar ‘sleutelgeld’ voor te innen. Dit stuitte op weerstand bij de verhuurders, de familie De Slegte. Het vertragen van de verkoop van het Amsterdamse pand in januari 2014 was de aanleiding tot de betalingsachterstand die leidde tot het faillissement.
Kortom, de Polare-overname in 2012 was sowieso een riskante onderneming, maar de voorgestelde koers botste met de mores en belangen in de boekenwereld.
Belangrijke uitkomst van het boek is wat mij betreft ook nog dat in tegenstelling tot de beeldvorming de mannen van ProCures Polare niet hebben leeg getrokken via bonussen of winstuitkeringen.
Leerzaam voor iedereen die iets met boeken te maken heeft! ...more