HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of…
Loading...

Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (2006)

by Christopher Clark

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8612516,001 (4.03)14
Recently added byprivate library, LucHolthof, ejmw, faelan, Amelsfort, fizzypops, malcolmoxley
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 14 mentions

English (19)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This took a long time to get going, and parts of "Iron Kingdom" read like a masters thesis. As such, it took me a year or so to finish and it was only the last section or so, as Prussia grew into the biggest Germanic nation and into the jewel of the German Empire and then its downfall, with parts of Prussia now included in Poland, Russia and the Baltic nations.

Will Prussia rise again? It seems distant but stranger things have happened and if they do I won't be so worried about its rebirth. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jan 9, 2019 |
A good single volume account of how just one of many German states emerged as a power. We think of the Germans as a major military power in the 20th century, but before 1870 even the largest state, Prussia, got battered by the major powers surrounding them (France, Austria, and Russia).It's heavy on the politics and the conflicts and light on everyday life and culture, although it's not completely neglected. I would have liked to have seen the inclusion of a family tree of the monarchs and a section on suggested reading.

It seems that the British considered the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo their own victory. This is not true; it was the German forces who won this battle, and in particular the Prussian army. I hadn't known that until I read this book. ( )
  nog | Jun 5, 2016 |
This book was a fascinating tour through the 350-year life of the Kingdom of Prussia, and it was packed with interesting facts and insights. Some of the book was heavy going, but this was more than compensated by the great amount of new (for me) information the author was able to impart. ( )
  oparaxenos | Nov 27, 2015 |
The book is considered the definitive book on Prussia. Prospective readers should have a rough idea of European history. This book is tightly focused on Prussia, so it lacks the external context some may require. International politics is a smaller part than probably expected, though, with an emphasis on the social, cultural and economic conditions that shaped Prussia's identity. The words "identity," "idea," and "perception" are key themes with this book.

The author is very balanced - perhaps too nuanced. You and all your octopus friends run out of limbs long before he metaphorically runs out of "on the other hand." He tends to point out particular views and then reinforce them, counter them, or give them more shading. These views may be popular, once popular, dominant, widely accepted or promoted by groups with particular interests in mind. When dealing with Prussia, like America, the reader confronts a nation that is coherent because of an idea, rather than shared genetics, religion, or history, so "views" matter both internally and externally. It was the perception of Prussian identity that won over the Austrian to become the German image. It was when Prussian identity was conflated with Nazi militarism for propaganda purposes inside and outside the Third Reich that the Allies extinguished Prussia after WW2.

With a long view of progress, Clark does not ignore progress' troubles or the comfort of tradition and custom. This awareness is also critical when discussing Prussia, with its firmly rooted culture and cutting edge governance.

Few of us in America have received an adequate education on this immensely influential state - despite its role in virtually every major European event for several hundred years. I enjoyed reading of Prussia's many contributions, for better or worse, to the evolving conception of the state, its roles, duties, responsibilities, and participants. My only complaint is that I never got a feel for Bismarck. All of the Fredericks, Williams, and Frederick Williams were portrayed well enough, but Bismarck is left vague, perhaps because he was only the PM and not the emperor.

The editing is good with no obvious typos. ( )
2 vote Hae-Yu | May 24, 2015 |
Masterly history of Prussia, the vanished kingdom that lay at the base of the (Second) German Empire. It has been much reviled as a warmongering nation of merciless heel-clicking bureaucrats (thanks for that, Winston Churchill), but the author manages to prove that Prussia was also the cradle of German Enlightenment, a bulwark of Social Democracy against the rise of the Nazis and the crucible for social integration of Jews into German society. The pages on constitutional reform in the 18th and 19th centuries may only be of great interest to some, but overall this is a magnificent history of an undeservedly maligned and forgotten country. ( )
1 vote fist | Jun 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674023854, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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, with all that implied for the tumultuous twentieth century."--BOOK JACKET.

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.03)
0.5
1
1.5
2 2
2.5
3 25
3.5 8
4 60
4.5 21
5 27

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 137,437,347 books! | Top bar: Always visible