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Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 [Anglais] [Broché]

Christopher Clark
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

25 mars 2011 PRESS NF PB
Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, Christopher Clark's Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947 is a compelling account of a country that played a pivotal role in Europe's fortunes and fundamentally shaped our world. Prussia began as a medieval backwater, but transformed itself into a major European power and the force behind the creation of the German empire, until it was finally abolished by the Allies after the Second World War. With great flair and authority, Christopher Clark describes Prussia's great battles, dynastic marriages and astonishing reversals of fortune, its brilliant and charismatic leaders from the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg to Bismarck and Frederick the Great, the military machine and the progressive, enlightened values on which it was built. 'Fascinating ... masterly ... littered with intriguing detail and wry observation'
  Richard Overy, Daily Telegraph 'A terrific book ... the definitive history of this much-maligned state'
  Daily Telegraph Books of the Year 'You couldn't have the triumph and the tragedy of Prussia better told'
  Observer 'A magisterial history of Europe's only extinct power'
  Financial Times 'Exemplary ... an illuminating, profoundly satisfying work of history'
  The New York Times Christopher Clark is a lecturer in Modern European History at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge. He is also the author of Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power.

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Descriptions du produit

Biographie de l'auteur

Christopher Clark is a lecturer in Modern European History at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge. His previous book was a biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 816 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin (25 mars 2011)
  • Collection : PRESS NF PB
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0140293345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140293340
  • Dimensions du produit: 3,7 x 12,9 x 19,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 22.631 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A great read on a potentially obscure subject 18 novembre 2013
Par Bonzo
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A history of Prussia? Not, perhaps the world's most enticing read. But don't be misled. This is a wonderful and informative read - almost as good as the same author's 'The Sleepwalkers'
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  98 commentaires
89 internautes sur 93 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 From Brandenburg to Brandenburg 30 janvier 2007
Par J. F. Cuadrado - Publié sur
Christopher Clark begins his survey of Prussian history with the death of his protagonist - the State of Prussia - at the hands of the Allied powers after WW II. He then proceeds to develop the reasons for that destruction. In doing so, he follows Prussia's growth from its swampy Brandenburg heartland to a continental power and threat to world peace. The story of this rise and fall has value for students of strategy and national security, as well as armchair historians interested in modern Europe.

Strategists will recognize many facets of their discipline throughout this well-documented book. The Hohenzollerns, Nuremberg burgraves, purchased Brandenburg in 1417 for prestige. Burgrave Frederick paid a king's ransom in gold to become one of seven electors of the Holy Roman Emperor. As electors, the Hohenzollern were influential among the 300-odd sovereigns owing fealty - if not always paying loyalty - to the Habsburg emperor in Vienna. The position - and Hohenzollern ambition - eventually led Prussia to contend with Vienna for leadership of the German nation. Success came in 1871 - and meant the elimination of Prussia as an independent state. Along the way, Prussian rulers developed the tools of state necessary to match their ambition. The Great Elector played the game of diplomacy well, protecting his non-contiguous realm from encroachment by the great powers while strengthening it economically with Protestant immigrants. Frederick William II, the Soldier King, built a formidable army and a bureaucratic and economic structure to support it. His son, Frederick the Great, used that army to boost Prussia into the ranks of great powers.

The student of national security will learn how Frederick's successors squandered his gains. They allowed the army and its supporting structures to ossify. Poor diplomacy and failure to ally with Austria and Russian against Napoleon led to defeat and occupation. Timid King Fredrick William III recognized that he could retake his kingdom only after massive reforms. Fortunately, he was blessed with a remarkable generation of administrative and military reformers. Professor Clark recounts the struggles of Hardenberg, Stein, Gneisenau and others in rebuilding the Prussian state. Their reforms ranged from education to agriculture to the bureaucracy, economics and citizenship. These efforts yielded a reconstituted Prussian army of citizen-soldiers - and an allied victory at Waterloo.

The armchair historian will find more than the machinations of kings and generals in their quest for power. Clark sets each epoch into cultural context. The Prussian subject is here - the French Huguenot, the east Elbian peasant and independent-thinking Rhinelander. Great movers and shakers are here as well. In addition to the Napoleonic-era reformers are the Bismarcks, Hegels and Fontanes. Above all, Clark gives us the land and its people - the true underpinning of an agrarian society developing into a modern industrial power.

Clark's final chapters chronicle the cooption of the Prussian identity - already subsumed by the German Reich in 1871 - into a backdrop for Nazi propaganda. The end result is a Prussia, stripped of its identity, destroyed by war and occupied by the unsympathetic Allies. It ceased to exist as a political entity by Allied decree in 1947. All that remained were gutted buildings, buried monuments and Brandenburg - soon to be a province in the Soviet Union's East German satellite.
97 internautes sur 108 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting thesis 6 octobre 2006
Par 1. - Publié sur
Clark has wriiten an interesting book about the history of Prussia in which he argues that Prussia has been misunderstood as a reactionary militaristic state when in reality it was the most progressive of the German states. Throughout the eighteenth century the Prussian government would protect small farmers from abusive aristocratic landowners and also educate the Prussian peasantry. This legacy of reforms would continue throughout the nineteenth century with a nationalized health insurance program and a state pension system. Moreover the Prussian state was tolerant to various ethnic groups such as Poles and Jews since there was no such thing as Prussian identity because Prussia included Catholics from the Rhineland and Protestant Poles in East Prussia. Clark contends that the Prussian idea of an enlightened cosomopolitan Prussian state dissapated after the German wars of Unification and the nationalist idea that stressed a racial notion of the nation took over. In the closing chapters of the book Clark seems to blame Nazism on the southern Germans and the Austrians since they formed most of the Nazi leadership and the fact that Prussia was the last German state to keep a democratic majority of mainly the SPD until the collaspse of the Weimer Republic. The only weakness of Clark's book is that he seems to ignore the fact that the origins of German nationalism originated in the writings of Herder and Hamman, who were both Prussians,despised the enlightenment and wanted a nation based on exclusively linguistic ties and not a cosmopolitan Prussian state. Nevertheless this book gives an interesting and new view of German history.
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Overall, pretty decent work. 9 octobre 2008
Par J. R Weaver - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I read a lot of history books, but I don't review very many. In fact, I think this is only my second review of a history text. I think it's because I don't want to come across looking like an idiot since I'm only an amateur historian. :D

However, Iron Kingdom was so good that it inspired me to write something here. I bought this book purely for research purposes, but once I started reading, I devoured not only the chapters relevant to the time period I was researching, but the entire book. Clark has an engaging way of writing that kept me up late several nights, thinking, 'Okay, just a couple more pages, then I'll go to sleep'. Maybe I'm just odd, but I got as much enjoyment and suspense out of reading this as I do from works of fiction.

The only real gripe I have is that Clark tended to gloss over large chunks of time and events. I realize this is going to happen in a work of this magnitude; if he'd gone into minute detail on every bit of the three and a half centuries the book covers, we would've had a 1500 hundred page book instead of the already hefty 680 pages (not including notes and bibliography). And maybe that's actually a good thing; by keeping the narrative flowing, my interest was more than engaged from beginning to end. But still, I wanted a little more in certain parts...

Overall, from my layman's perspective, Iron Kingdom was a very worthwhile read, and I'll definitely be referring to it and re-reading it time and again.
31 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best book on Prussia - ever. 16 décembre 2006
Par M. A. Ruehl - Publié sur
From its emergence as a major military power in the mid-eigteenth century to its dissolution at the hands of the Allies, shortly after World War II, Prussia played a critical, at times fateful, role in the shaping of European politics and culture. Christopher Clark, a history professor at Cambridge University, tells the epic story of Prussia's rise and fall with verve, wit and an erudition that is all the more impressive because he wears it so lightly. _Iron Kingdom_ is a bravura performance in every respect. The writing is fresh, elegant and thoroughly absorbing; Clark's vivid and almost conversational style leads the reader comfortably through more than three centuries of history, in which the map of Central Europe was constantly re-drawn as the result of bloody wars and bold diplomacy. The narrative is packed with nuggets of fact and anecdotes, culled from an astounding variety of sources, which bring to life and throw a fascinating new light on a host of complex characters, including Frederick the Great, Bismarck, William II ('the Kaiser') and Hindenburg. As vast as the scale of the undertaking is, the book is never heavy-going: it is carried, throughout, by an almost literary imagination, a profound (if not uncritical) sympathy for the subject and, most importantly, a novel as well as (in my eyes) utterly convincing argument that explodes many of the myths about Prussian and indeed German history. These myths, woven around images of spiked helmets and polished boots, are still with us. If you want to go beyond them, you should read _Iron Kingdom_. It is, quite simply, the best book on the subject and a must for anyone interested in how Germany came to be what it is today.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Brilliant History of Prussia 19 décembre 2006
Par Max Whyte - Publié sur
Christopher Clarke's new history of Prussia is a triumph of scholarship. `Iron Kingdom' charts the evolution of Prussia from its humble beginnings in the early 17th century, to its growth into a military and political powerhouse, its role in the unification of Germany, and its final, fateful, engagement with National Socialism. Clark manages this long and complex history with supreme confidence. His analysis is lucid and detailed -- evincing the idiosyncrasies of Prussia history without losing sight of the broader, European context. The result is a novel and compelling book, which challenges the accepted stereotype of Prussia as an overbearing military and political monolith. The usual suspects -- Friedrich the Great, Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II -- are attended to with due diligence, of course. But behind the clichés of `blood and iron', Clark discovers strong traditions of humanism, enlightenment, religious toleration and administrative equity at the centre of Prussia's history. Artists, theologians, architects, philosophers, and composers emerge alongside generals and statesmen as the bearers and shapers of Prussian identity. Clark's nuanced re-interpretation of Prussia provides an invaluable insight into the past on which the German present rests. Those who wish to understand the triumphs and tragedies of modern German history will find few better starting points than the `Iron Kingdom'.
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