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George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I
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George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,609 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
In the years before the First World War, the great European powers were ruled by three first cousins: King George V of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Together, they presided over the last years of dynastic Europe and the outbreak of the most destructive war the world had ever seen, a war that set twentieth-century Europe on course to ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Knopf (first published 2009)
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Matt
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have a joke for you: hereditary monarchies.

That’s it. That's the joke.

Of all the ways that man has devised for cornering power, none is as breathtaking as the hereditary monarchy. For centuries, kings and queens have ruled vast nations based solely on the notion that their blood is somehow “royal.” It’s utter wash, of course, as countless failed leaders have proven. There is nothing special about royal blood. It is the same blood as runs through our veins. Except for the hemophilia. The roya
...more
Eric_W
Mar 23, 2010 marked it as to-read
OK, I haven't read this book -- I will -- but I was pissed after reading a review. Here's part of a review that demonstrates why I often hate reviews in the NY Times Book Review. Last two paragraphs:

“George, Nicholas and Wilhelm” is an impressive book. Ms. Carter has clearly not bitten off more than she can chew for she — as John Updike once wrote about Günter Grass — “chews it enthusiastically before our eyes.”

You turn this book’s pages with interest, however, but rarely with eagerness. It’s a
...more
Chrissie
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chrissie by: Manybooks
I highly recommend this book. What it does in an exemplary fashion is show the reader who George, Nicholas and Wilhelm were. You learn not only of their actions, but also of there varying temperaments. This is a biography, not a dry history book. It is well researched, and will be fascinating to those of you who want to look at the personalities of these three cousins. At the same time you will come to understand why WW1 occurred; why in fact it was practically inevitable. Political disputes and ...more
Dorothy
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This was brilliant. For anyone interested in the road to WWI this is a wonderful synopsis from the perspective of the exhaustion and decline of autocracy, monarchy and empire. Using the familial relationships among Victoria, Edward, George, Wilhelm and Nicholas Carter pulls the reader into the conflicting pulls on the leading monarchs of their day amid the challenges of nationalism, republicanism, socialism and the last gasps of aristocratic and colonial entitlement. Along the way we are provide ...more
Grady
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Impact of Queen Victoria on History

Queen Victoria of England not only had one of the longest reigns in royal history (her reign of 63 years and 7 months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history) but her progeny produced leaders in disparate countries that focused on three names in the pre-world War I period - King George V of Great Britain (an India), Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. In a manner of
...more
John E
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book for the most part. It has a simple thesis: The more your leader is out of touch and coddled the more severe the results inflicted on the followers. Spoiled children without reality are not the ones to run the country: think of Mr. Trump!
LillyBooks
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Oh, families. If you think your family is crazy, you haven't met the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Romanovs. This academic-style text is a discussion of the familo-political interactions from about 1860 that lead to World War I. I left this book thinking that perhaps we could "blame" WWI, not on the Germans, but instead on Queen Victoria. Why? She was the grandmother from hell. She insisted that all of her children were raised in an extremely severe style favored by her husband, Prince Albert; some of her c ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susanna - Censored by GoodReads by: Bettie☯
First-class analysis, and really well-written.
Louise
Other reviews have noted that there is little new here, but the point of this book is not to bring out new information; It is to explore the origins of World War I from a different point of view. In examining the character of these three cousins, their upbringing and education, their role in the structure of their respective governments and the issues and attitudes of their counties, Miranda Carter shows how they did and didn't influence the course of events that led to The Great War.

The cousins
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Are these the same book? 4 22 Apr 26, 2015 09:51AM  
  • King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led The World To War
  • An Uncommon Woman - The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm
  • Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
  • The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II
  • Queen Victoria: A Personal History
  • Victoria's Daughters
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy
  • Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess
  • The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs: A Family Saga
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War
  • Vienna 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made War, Peace, and Love at the Congress of Vienna
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • Bismarck: A Life
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
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Biographer/historian/thriller writer. Also goes under M.J. Carter.
More about Miranda Carter...