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The German Empire, 1870-1918

(Modern Library Chronicles #4)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In "The German Empire," one of Europe's great historians and men of letters chronicles one of history's most fateful transformations--Germany's rise from new nation to prime mover in the chain of events that sent it hurtling into two world wars.
In 1871, Otto von Bismarck fused with "blood and iron" a motley collection of principalities, Free Cities, and bishoprics into on
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published November 14th 2000 by Modern Library
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Lauren Albert
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history-european
These Modern Library books are clearly supposed to be introductions to the topics--hence the short length. Someone clearly didn't explain this to Dr. Sturmer. For instance, he doesn't stop to lay out the different political entities and their relationships to each other even though this is the most confusing part of the topic. He uses words like "Junker" without explaining them--they were the landed nobility--as well as using foreign phrases without offering interpretations. He also makes connec ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I opened this book, the only names I knew were Bismarck and the Kaiser. And my knowledge of those two was, to be generous, vague. Sturmer's book is an excellent introduction to the German empire. For such a brief book, Sturmer does a commendable job of giving clarity to a period too often only hazily understood by readers in the U.S. Maybe the most intriguing part was a brief sketch of the hapless Caprivi, who succeeded Bismarck. A reasonable case can be made that had Caprivi not been force ...more
Erik Ryberg
As usual with this series, there is a good deal of information condensed into a quite readable text. This one gives a good overview of early German nation history which will interest the reader as the discussion of German unity, arts and industry as well as politics is briskly covered. A good idea for someone going to visit or live in Germany to help investigate further. Also, helpful for the student seeking to have context of Germany in the early 20th century and to make connections today.
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Highly informative but very dry. I really had to slog my way through it. The writer presents the bare facts, which is fine, but I can't really get into a history unless the historian can bring the characters from history alive. I did find that I wanted to know more about Bismarck after reading this history.

Also, the writer's account of the lead up to WWI and the aftermath was thorough and interesting. For the rest, though, it was a slog.
Tracey the Bookworm
I learnt a lot from this small work although having access to Google helped as the author assumes more basic knowledge than I had. Overall a good introduction to understand the formation of modern Germany and the political and social changes that lead to it.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I agree with one of the other reviewers that it was dry.
Shawn Thrasher
Some kind of wunderbar this ain't. And while I didn't hate this enough to put it down in disgust, I also came away underwhelmed. The best chapter is about the founding and almost immediate foundering of the Weimar Republic, which Sturmer bathes in an idealistic and quite interesting light. Bismarck is (of course) a main character; Hitler makes his expected cameo appearance at the end. But the personality was in short shrift - the Kaiser (a fascinating figure) gets barely any mention relatively s ...more
Seb Zein
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
"Frustrating" is the operative word. Brevity is a virtue, but the attempt to condense 60 years of history into 120 pages leaves too much unexplained for the unfamiliar reader, yet too little room for fresh insights to be enjoyed by the knowledgeable reader.

The little space there is isn't even made particularly good use of. Walter Rathenau's writings on achieving European peace through integration are fascinating, but do they really warrant as much space as Bismarck's unification wars
Chase Parsley
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Good, but not great summary of Germany's formative years (Bismarck to WWI). I would have preferred that Sturmer "dumbed-down" this account a notch; many other Modern Library Chronicles books I have read have done this far better. Many aspects of the book are explained while assuming the reader has a lot of previous knowledge.

Otherwise, Sturmer does a very good job in his account of the history of Germany during this era; Germany industrializes rapidly and becomes a formidable world p
Aug 01, 2011 added it
A very long essay makes for a rather short book of history. If you don't have a bit of an overview of what happened during the time period covered, you'll quickly get lost. Stürmer offers loads of opinion, some of it rather witty, most of it rather interesting. Not being very well-read about this time and place, I can't say how much of it is novel. This is actually the second time that I've read this book. I breezed through it the first time and by the time I got to the end, I realized that I co ...more
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Too much 'Revolution from Above.' This reads like excerpts from a longer book, with certain themes (in emphasis and number of pages) way out of proportion. His section on the First World War was fantastic.
Check out Richie's chapters on Red Berlin, Imperial Berlin and the Road to the First World War for a better paced and wider-ranging, though less analytical, perspective.
Well, I read this as part of my study and it isn't a book I would have picked up if I didn't need to. However, it was surprisingly interesting, although it seemed to me to jump a lot in time and place, thus making the reading a bit confusing. Only 2 stas, because again, it isn't a book I really read because I wanted to, but because I had to.
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too much 'Revolution from Above.' This reads like excerpts from a longer book, with certain themes (in emphasis and number of pages) way out of proportion. His section on the First World War was fantastic.
Check out Richie's chapters on Red Berlin, Imperial Berlin and the Road to the First World War for a better paced and wider-ranging, though less analytical, perspective.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
This book provides great insight onto the workings of the German Empire until the end of the first World War. It's a small book, and though I would have liked more information about certain events and periods, this is a great primer to the events and politics that lay before the Weimar Republic and Hitler's Third Reich.
While not advised to one without some background on German History, if one has this background, this is wonderful concise review the rise and fall of the Second Reich. The book covers Bismarck-Wilhelm II-Weimar, while also covering a fair amount of social history. Also contains a helpful chronology, a list of key figures, and a number of black and white maps.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
is a magnificent book on the era of Bismarck(1871) as Prussia was the creator of the German Empire and became the main cultural , economic , scientific and military power in the world ,in the first decade of XX century.iIn my opinion is essential.
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A short, succinct and very well written account of the rise of Germany as a major technological and political powerhouse in the 19th and early 20th century. Strongly recommended for those who wish to understand the history behind the roller-coaster like rise, fall and rise of Germany.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
I honestly didn't think this would be so interesting. You can't understand 20th Century international relations without understanding Germany's rise to power. And Sturmer tells it well.
Marcus Wolfe
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good, short history of the German Empire. Detailed enough to be informative but fast moving so as to not get bogged down.
Peter Owens
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
A strong, concise history of German Imperial nationalism that goes deeper than the usual characterization of colonization and militarization.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Brief history of the period. I enjoyed it.
Timothy Dee
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Kevin Curry
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Donald Fox
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Jun 06, 2016
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Dec 23, 2011
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