Synopses & Reviews
Otto von Bismarck (1815andndash;98) has gone down in history as the Iron Chancellor, a reactionary and militarist whose 1871 unification of Germany set Europe down the path of disaster to World War I. But as Volker Ullrich shows in this new edition of his accessible biography, the real Bismarck was far more complicated than the stereotype.
A leading historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century history, Ullrich demonstrates that the andldquo;Founder of the Reichandrdquo; was in fact an opponent of liberal German nationalism. After the wars of 1866 and 1870, Bismarck spent the rest of his career working to preserve peace in Europe and protect the empire he had created. Despite his reputation as an enemy of socialism, he introduced comprehensive health and unemployment insurance for German workers. Far from being a andldquo;man of iron and blood,andrdquo; Bismarck was in fact a complex statesman who was concerned with maintaining stability and harmony far beyond Germanyandrsquo;s newly unified borders.
Comprehensive and balanced, Bismarck shows us the post-reunification value of looking anew at this monumental figureandrsquo;s role in European history.
This is one title in a series of short, illustrated biographies. They tell the stories of those who have shaped our present and our past, from Beethoven to Dietrich, from Einstein to Churchill and are suitable for students and the general reader.
A brilliantly vivid and engaging portrait of a towering figure in history
An illustrated biography about a towering historical figure written by an 'enemy alien' who knew him well
Winston Churchill (1874-1965, KG 1953) Conservative politician, Prime Minister 1940-5 and 1951-5. Perhaps the most determined and inspirational war leader in Britain's history, it was during that darkest summer of 1940 that Churchill's astonishing oratory seemed to rally the nation, from his opening statement to the House of Commons on May 13th that he had 'nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat'. Each successive crisis produced phrases that have resounded ever since, from the danger of invasion after the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk ('their finest hour') to the Battle of Britain (his tribute to the 'Few'). However, he lost the general election in June 1945. But he returned to Downing Street in 1951, finally retiring in 1955.
About the Author
Sebastian Haffner was 'one of the outstanding figures in European journalism' (Guardian, 1999). He emigrated to London from Berlin in the 1930s and became a vocal critic of the Nazi regime, writing influential articles in the Observer. After the war, he became Germany's pre-eminent political commentator. His many books include Germany: Jekyll and Hyde. Peter Hennessy is Professor of Contemporary History at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, Gresham Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, London, and Chairman of the Kennedy Memorial Trust. His books include Cabinet, Whitehall and Never Again: Britain 1945-51, for which he was awarded both the Duff Cooper Prize and the NCR Prize in 1993. John Brownjohn is a prize-winning translator and works with Roman Polanski.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Prince Ferdinand von Bismarck
Early influences 1815-1832
The andlsquo;Crazy Junkerandrsquo; 1832-47
Bismarckandrsquo;s path to politics 1847-51
Diplomatic apprenticeship 1851-62
Prime Minister in waiting 1862-63
I have beaten all of them, every single one! 1863-67
The Founder of the Reich 1866-71
Consolidation and preservation 1871-85
The long departure from power 1885-90
The Last Years 1890-98