Synopses & Reviews
In this investigation of the German foreign office from 1871 to 1914, Lamar Cecil focuses on the people who conceived and executed German diplomacy rather than on diplomatic policies and stratagems. The author analyzes the men and their careers, isolating the characteristics common to the diplomats, the reasons for their selection, and the effect on their careers of various considerations of background, personality, and circumstance. His findings are based in part on the papers of Prince Bismarck and his family.
The first part of the book discusses the criteria employed in choosing applicants and promoting senior diplomats. The structure of the foreign office and the conditions of entry are examined in detail, as is the association of the novice and more experienced individuals with the military element, which after 1871 found increasing accommodation in all ranks of the diplomatic establishment.
The second part considers the problems with sovereigns, chancellors, and other bureaucrats encountered by members of the diplomatic service.
Originally published in 1976.
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