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Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947

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9780674031968: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947
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The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947

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[An] enthralling, shrewd, and sparkling narrative... Clark's immensely learned, judicious, and entertaining book provides a definitive general narrative of its subject for our times... Clark's achievement is substantial.--R. J. W. Evans"New York Review of Books" (09/27/2007)

[A] valuable book... [Clark] shows how complicated the history of Prussia really was, and how exciting were the contrasts in its history between religious tolerance and intolerance, enlightenment and obscurantism, centralized power and regional particularism, the rule of law and ruthless authoritarianism... Prussia and its army were full of contradictions, and Clark analyzes them astutely in his book, which is certainly the best recent history of Prussia... [A] masterpiece in which charming anecdotes and serious intellectual analyses mix comfortably with political and military history and descriptions of cultural and social phenomena... Clark's book seldom becomes dull, owing to the elegance of its style and the colorfulness of some of its powerful characters.--Istvan Deak"New Republic" (03/12/2008)

Prussia was a project for state power invented by monarchs and landlords, generals and civil servants from the vulnerable provinces of north central Europe--slowly mobilizing civic loyalties and reinvented for an age of German nationalism and encroaching democracy. In this epic volume, Christopher Clark enriches classic scholarship with the most recent findings to write Prussia's 500-year story from its unpromising Brandenburg origins through its manipulation by the Nazis and final dissolution by the postwar Allies as the byword for German aggression.--Charles S. Maier, author of Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors

This beautifully written and brilliantly argued longer study will reward scholars, students, and educated laypeople who invest the time to read it... [A] riveting narrative.--C. Ingrao"Choice" (08/01/2007)

Chris Clark's new history of Prussia trumps all existing accounts. It commands four centuries of complicated history with extraordinary assurance. Its clear and confident argumentation, illuminating concreteness of detail, and sheer richness of texture make it the ideal general history.--Geoff Eley, author of A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society

Lucid, learned, and light-touched, this comprehensive history of the Prussian state and the society it molded eclipses its rivals, both Anglo-American and German. Its well-crafted narrative form is reader-friendly, while the interpretation it offers will impress seasoned specialists with its sophistication, knowledgeability, and freedom from stereotype and ideas of predetermined destiny. It will be required reading for all students of the history of modern Germany.--William Hagen, author of Ordinary Prussians: Brandenburg Junkers and Villagers, 1500-1840

Clark's great accomplishment is to tell the story of the Prussian state's rise and fall in a splendid and compelling way. His interpretation is a sustained critique of the still widely accepted view of Prussia's deviation from the western norm that led to the catastrophes of war and dictatorship in the twentieth century. Iron Kingdom is by far the best account of Prussia in English and as good as anything I know in German as well.--James J. Sheehan, President of the American Historical Association

This book is everything its subject is supposed not to be: it's sparkling, light-footed and intellectually supple at every turn. Even more refreshingly, it narrates the story of a Prussia that was itself the source of much that was socially and intellectually progressive. The history of Prussia is a history of the West: we are all Prussians one way or another. This humane book, with its unflagging narrative sweep and deftness of touch, reveals the truth of that surprising statement.--James Simpson, author of Reform and Cultural Revolution

To account for the rise and tumultuous extinction of Prussia is to explain how contemporary Europe came to assume its current form. It is a vast, Zeppelin-sized historical challenge; but it is also one to which Christopher Clark rises triumphantly, piloting his enormous subject through the best part of four centuries, traversing en route most of the continent of Europe, and carrying the reader with him on a bracing and exhilarating ride... For sheer range and intellectual horsepower, this book ranks as the best history of Prussia currently available in any language. However, more than that (and here it beats its German rivals hands-down), it is written with a literary finesse and narrative elan that establish its author as one of the finest writers of history at work in Britain today. It is a virtuoso performance.-- (09/03/2006)

From the military and agricultural innovations of Frederick the Great to nineteenth-century high academic politics to Bismarck's social-security system, this magisterial and remarkably well-written history of Prussia traces back to the eighteenth century the region's surprisingly tolerant and intellectually rich culture. Clark, a Cambridge historian, suggests that the world is poorer for Prussia's absence.-- (12/06/2006)

About the Author:

Christopher Clark is Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge and Ostrer Professorial Fellow in History at St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

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9780140293340: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the aftermath of World War II, Prussia--a centuries-old state pivotal to Europe's development--ceased to exist. In their eagerness to erase all traces of the Third Reich from the earth, the Allies believed that Prussia, the very embodiment of German militarism, had to be abolished.But as Christopher Clark reveals in this pioneering history, Prussia's legacy is far more complex. Though now a fading memory in Europe's heartland, the true story of Prussia offers a remarkable glimpse into the dynamic rise of modern Europe.What we find is a kingdom that existed nearly half a millennium ago as a patchwork of territorial fragments, with neither significant resources nor a coherent culture. With its capital in Berlin, Prussia grew from being a small, poor, disregarded medieval state into one of the most vigorous and powerful nations in Europe. Iron Kingdom traces Prussia's involvement in the continent's foundational religious and political conflagrations: from the devastations of the Thirty Years War through centuries of political machinations to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, from the enlightenment of Frederick the Great to the destructive conquests of Napoleon, and from the "iron and blood" policies of Bismarck to the creation of the German Empire in 1871, and all that implied for the tumultuous twentieth century. By 1947, Prussia was deemed an intolerable threat to the safety of Europe; what is often forgotten, Clark argues, is that it had also been an exemplar of the European humanistic tradition, boasting a formidable government administration, an incorruptible civil service, and religious tolerance. Clark demonstrates how a state deemed the bane of twentieth-century Europe has played an incalculable role in Western civilization's fortunes. Iron Kingdom is a definitive, gripping account of Prussia's fascinating, influential, and critical role in modern times. Seller Inventory # AAC9780674031968

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. In the aftermath of World War II, Prussia—a centuries-old state pivotal to Europe's development—ceased to exist. In their eagerness to erase all traces of the Third Reich from the earth, the Allies believed that Prussia, the very embodiment of German militarism, had to be abolished. But as Christopher Clark reveals in this pioneering history, Prussia's legacy is far more complex. Though now a fading memory in Europe's heartland, the true story of Prussia offers a remarkable glimpse into the dynamic rise of modern Europe. What we find is a kingdom that existed nearly half a millennium ago as a patchwork of territorial fragments, with neither significant resources nor a coherent culture. With its capital in Berlin, Prussia grew from being a small, poor, disregarded medieval state into one of the most vigorous and powerful nations in Europe. "Iron Kingdom" traces Prussia's involvement in the continent's foundational religious and political conflagrations: from the devastations of the Thirty Years War through centuries of political machinations to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, from the enlightenment of Frederick the Great to the destructive conquests of Napoleon, and from the "iron and blood" policies of Bismarck to the creation of the German Empire in 1871, and all that implied for the tumultuous twentieth century. By 1947, Prussia was deemed an intolerable threat to the safety of Europe; what is often forgotten, Clark argues, is that it had also been an exemplar of the European humanistic tradition, boasting a formidable government administration, an incorruptible civil service, and religious tolerance. Clark demonstrates how a state deemed the bane of twentieth-century Europe has played an incalculable role in Western civilization's fortunes. "Iron Kingdom" is a definitive, gripping account of Prussia's fascinating, influential, and critical role in modern times. In the aftermath of World War II and in the Allies eagerness to erase all traces of the Third Reich from the earth, Prussia ceased to exist as a country. But as Clark reveals in this pioneering, gripping history, Prussia enjoyed a fascinating, influential, and critical role throughout the world. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780674031968

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