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Germany: A New History Hagen Schulze Harvard University Press


30th April 2011 History Books 12 Comments

In a pithy, concisely written text, Hagen Schulze chronicles Germany’s often spotted historical past from the time of the nomadic Nordic tribes who migrated South into the Roman Empire to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, offering the past as a pretext for what he considers a new history yet unfolding. Consciously written for the general reader with little or no knowledge of German history, Schulze’s account reads easily (superbly translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider), combining historical detail with broader analysis and consistently placing the German historical moment within a global context.

In his chronicle of Wilhelmine Germany, the period from 1890 to 1914, Schulze skillfully outlines details of political events both inside Germany and throughout Europe, then illustrates how they delineate a turning point from the precarious political order previously maintained by Bismarck. He interweaves this political narrative with analysis of social, economic, and cultural events of the era: the legacy of Prussian militarism, the rise of industrial and agricultural unions, the disillusionment of German youth with the rise of industrialism, German advances in scientific research, musical developments by Wagner and Brahms, the theatrical productions of Gerhard Hauptmann and Georg Kaiser, and the growing intellectual influence of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Freud. Supplemented by relevant photos and suggestions for further reading, Schulze’s account provides the reader with a concise, accurate, and well-balanced presentation of the pre-war period, exemplifying a consistently balanced approach throughout the text. –Bertina Loeffler –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Schulze, professor of European history at the Free University of Berlin, admirably succeeds in providing a concise overview of 2,000 years of German history. Beginning with the Germanic tribes pressing on the frontiers of the Roman Empire, Schulze cogently illustrates how those diverse German-speaking peoples gradually evolved common cultural bonds that eventually led to efforts at political unification. This is a fast-moving survey that manages to touch most of the critical bases–from Charlemagne to Frederick the Great to Hitler–without concentrating on any one particular historical era. Some specialists will find this work a mile wide and an inch deep; however, for informed general readers who wish to broaden their knowledge of European history, Schulze’s well-organized and easily digested account will be ideal. Jay Freeman –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

In one concise volume, Hagen Schulze brilliantly conveys the full sweep of German history, from the days of the Romans to the fall of the Berlin Wall. A story two thousand years in the making, it rings with battle, murmurs with intrigue, and hums with the music of everyday life. This richly various legacy, often overshadowed and distorted by the nation’s recent past, offers a hopeful answer to the perennial question of what kind of country Germany is and will be.

From the revolt of the indigenous tribes against Roman domination, Schulze leads us through the events that have defined a nation at the center of European culture–the Thirty Years’ War and the decline of the Holy Roman Empire, Luther’s Reformation and Bismarck’s attendance at the birth of modern Germany, the Great War and its aftermath, the nationalistic megalomania under Hitler, the division of the nation after World War II and its reunification. Throughout, we see what these developments have meant for the German people, in the arena of private life and on the stage of world history. A lavish array of illustrations provides a lively counterpoint to Schulze’s elegantly written narrative.

As it follows the threads of German language, nationalism, and culture to the present day, this dramatic account provides ample reassurance that recent history will not repeat itself. Germany: A New History will prove indispensable to our understanding of Germany, past and present, and the future of Europe.

In a pithy, concisely written text, Hagen Schulze chronicles Germany’s often spotted historical past from the time of the nomadic Nordic tribes who migrated South into the Roman Empire to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, offering the past as a pretext for what he considers a new history yet unfolding. Consciously written for the general reader with little or no knowledge of German history, Schulze’s account reads easily , combining historical detail with broader analysis and consistently placing the German historical moment within a global context.

In his chronicle of Wilhelmine Germany, the period from 1890 to 1914, Schulze skillfully outlines details of political events both inside Germany and throughout Europe, then illustrates how they delineate a turning point from the precarious political order previously maintained by Bismarck. He interweaves this political narrative with analysis of social, economic, and cultural events of the era: the legacy of Prussian militarism, the rise of industrial and agricultural unions, the disillusionment of German youth with the rise of industrialism, German advances in scientific research, musical developments by Wagner and Brahms, the theatrical productions of Gerhard Hauptmann and Georg Kaiser, and the growing intellectual influence of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Freud. Supplemented by relevant photos and suggestions for further reading, Schulze’s account provides the reader with a concise, accurate, and well-balanced presentation of the pre-war period, exemplifying a consistently balanced approach throughout the text. –Bertina Loeffler –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Germany: A New History

The German Empire: A Short History

A concise, richly descriptive, and authoritative history. The New York Times Book Review

A brief yet thorough introduction to an episode of German history that has proven pivotal . . . over the past century and a half. . . . Strmers superlative analysis of Bismarck the man, of his motives and actions, is a masterpiece of clarity and brevity. Publishers Weekly (starred)

Clear, concise, and compellinga welcome corrective to the view that a principle task of historiography is to assign blame. Kirkus Reviews

[A] concise, information-packed history of imperial Germany, from its creation in 1870 to its collapse in the aftermath of World War I, that makes one acutely aware of what-might-have-beens. Forbes

In a remarkably vibrant narrative, Michael Strmer blends high politics, social history, portraiture, and an unparalleled command of military and economic developments to tell the story of Germanys breakneck rise from new nation to Continental superpower. It begins with the German militarys greatest triumph, the Franco-Prussian War, and then tracks the forces of unification, industrialization, colonization, and militarization as they combined to propel Germany to become the force that fatally destabilized Europes balance of power. Without The German Empires masterly rendering of this story, a full understanding of the roots of World War I and World War II is impossible.

The German Empire: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)










  • 12 responses to "Germany: A New History Hagen Schulze Harvard University Press"

  • Ripel
    11:07 on April 30th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    This is a surprisingly lively account, authoritative and scholarly but filled with insight as well. Events follow rapidly upon one another in an extremely concise narrative, and the author even found room–briefly–to consider the contributions of artists. It’s quite an achievement to boil down so much history into one relatively short report without losing one’s grip on major themes. And the author’s American publisher has given him a beautiful presentation, filled with illustrations (some in color) that augment the narrative. Probably the best short history of Germany–certainly the best I’ve ever read.

  • Juana Cruz
    14:28 on April 30th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    I am one of those people who likes history but don’t have time to read thick history books. When I searched the Internet for a one-volume-book that can cover the complete history of the Germany, I came across Dr. Schulze’s book and bought it. It was a very good choice and I finished reading the entire book just in three days! The main reason might be the continuity and the pedagogic nature of the book: the entire history of the “German Nation” is divided into well-defined parts and you know where you are at this long history when reading the book. The author also does a good job by integrating the German History into the World History, drawing important lessons from the past.

    The negative sides of the book may be threefold: First, as is the case for most history books, the author writes some parts like a novelist losing the main point. This approach may seem “romantic” for some readers but not for starters like me, who wants to learn rather than to be impressed by the history. Second, probably because the book is a translation, some sentences are longer than necessary and difficult to understand at first reading. Lastly, although the pictures in the book reflect the corresponding era of the history quite well, some of them are not related to the theme highlighted in the corresponding chapter.

    Overall, the book is an excellent work especially for intermediate-level history learners, but some pre-requisite reading may be required for starters.

    Dr. Yasin Ozcelik
    http://www.misworld.org

  • John Baxter
    17:22 on April 30th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    Schulze willfully wrote Germany’s 2,000 year history for the general reader with little or no knowledge of the country’s history. His digested account starts from Charlemagne to Frederick the Great to Hitler and ends just before the dawn of the European Union.

    With four maps, five charts, 56 color illustrations and 59 photos and every page printed on art-book stock, Schulze presents worthy information in this high-quality volume. Interweaving social, economic and cultural events, Schulze leads us through Germany’s tumultuous, militant past, telling us about its scientists, theatrical producers and composers. Any book concerning Germany and its history would be remiss without discussing its military leaders, and Germany: A New History is no exception.

    This elegant, short narrative is a great source for any reader interested in learning more about the Fatherland’s Pan-Germanic identity.

  • Rick Monson
    11:37 on May 1st, 2011
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    book arrived promptly as promised and was well packaged. excellent condition! a thoroughly satisfactory transaction. my thanks to the vendor and five stars!!!

  • Satish KC
    16:18 on May 1st, 2011
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    Can’t say enough about this book.I had always wondered where the name Germany came from and I was aware of Tacitus’ book Germania but I wasn’t aware that the book is where the name came from. From my reading of Tacitus’ book that would be a real loose definition for such a vast area with hundreds of ethnic groups and dialects,some as different as night from day.Schulze starts from the work of Germania and takes Europe’s “soft center”,as Germany was initially labeled,right to the present in a readable manner interspersed with excellent interpretations of events and even throws in tidbits of philosophy.Excellent readable graphs and lots of pictures that go right along with the history.i can see why this book would be picked as a textbook.The book describes how this area of Europe through alot of “misadventures” finally arrived at “stability and predictibility”the 2 items necessary for effective government.The adventure of “Germany” however is still ongoing however.

  • Ounvkfap
    4:40 on May 3rd, 2011
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    The tumultuous era of Germany and its serenity epoch are well described. The author established a genealogical ascendance from Bismarck to the present day, and going through the consolidation of an effective government system. It is well-researched, despite the exaggeration in psychoanalyzing Germania’s mass hysteria. Nevertheless, It could be used as a reliable reference book in universities.

  • Jeff C
    19:06 on May 3rd, 2011
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    I can’t say I’m very interested in the national and indutrial development of germany prior to WWI. That’s probably why I liked this book so much. Its short and to the point.

    I’m a casual reader of history and have mostly focused thusfar on pre-Napoleonic times. I’ve wanted to move on to WW1 era history but felt that I didn’t really understand how Germany became such an international player in the intervening years. It always play a second fiddle to France and Britain. This book fills in the gaps quickly and concisely. I feel confident now to pick up a nice book on WW1 without complete ignorance of Germany’s status and motivations prior to the war. I almost feel that this is the niche that the author intended to fill as there is a tragic sense of foreshadowing throughout the text.

    There are probably more complete (and much longer) books available on this part of German history, but this one suited my needs perfectly. A good answer to that age-old question – whatever happened to Prussia?

  • Juana Cruz
    22:27 on May 3rd, 2011
    Reply to comment

    Germany: A New History is a great book dealing with the complex history of Germany. Beginning with the time of the Roman empire, to the era of the German states and the Holy Roman Empire, to the German Empire and the Nazi Reich, to the division of Germany and ending with the breaking of the Berlin Wall, this compact, precise history presents the reader with a vivid and easy-to-read narrative. Tons of illustrations and charts are common throughout the book. However, even though I would highly recommend this book as a beginner’s history to Germany, the only problem is that, for those scholars who enjoy a visual look at where the history is taking place, this book does not have many maps, and so an historical atlas would be recommended while reading this book.

  • oldschool
    6:40 on May 4th, 2011
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    This is the clearest and most concise introduction of the German Empire prior to WWI that I have read. Despite the short length of the book, Sturmer was able to provide a rather comprehensive overview of the German empire. I was impressed by the fact that the author was able to cover so many aspects (the German economy, military and politics) with so little words. As other reviewers have pointed out, this book is highly recommended for people who are interested in having a better knowledge of Germany prior to the Great War.

  • Saner Rijet
    13:35 on May 4th, 2011
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    This history provides only an overview of Germany’s history, which is good if you only want to learn general concepts and events. The text is as you might have noticed in the product description, very short. Don’t let the fact that it is 300 or so pages fool you; the typeface is very large and the lines are double-spaced. This may be exactly what readers are looking for, but I found the vague references to certain historical figures by surname only annoying, because Schulze is assuming the reader knows the name but he or she may not. I suppose it is only to be expected of a book that spends a few paragraphs on the Reformation and Counter-reformation. I’m not saying it is not a good read, in fact the narrative flows quite nicely, but it is obviously a book more dedicated to exposing Schulze’s perspective to readers who already know the people and events in German history. What Schulze wants to convey is his interpretation of the events, their consequences, and lasting effects on the German people. If you want to learn about those events and people, a more detailed history is definitely a must. Readers already grounded in German history will find this perspective interesting, but will probably do like me and wonder why this book is $18.00.

  • Satish KC
    18:15 on May 4th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    It is no easy task to sum up 1,000 or more years of German history in a single volume without descending to banal generalities. Schulze, however, manages his material with great skill. Apart from the accurate and balanced text, the great virtue of the book lies in its many illustrations and photographs. A good one for the Christmas stocking of a general history reader!

  • PaulTheZombie
    19:24 on May 4th, 2011
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    This is by no means a bad book; it’s well-written, even-handed and as a previous review has noted, concise. REALLY concise. An example: World War I is covered in exactly fourteen paragraphs. (You read that right: fourteen paragraphs – about two and a half pages, INCLUDING illustrations.) Germany’s rich and fascinating history prior to 1400 is glossed over so lightly that it doesn’t even serve as an adequate prologue. (In fact, if this book were your only historical resource, you could be forgiven for believing that Germania didn’t even EXIST before the Roman Empire came along.)

    If you’re looking for an easy-to-read, one-volume overview of German history from the Renaissance to modern times, this is your book. If you already know something of German history, you’ll be gravely disappointed by the lack of detail and depth in this work.

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