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Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 by [Clark, Christopher]
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Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 Kindle Edition

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Length: 820 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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Review

[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)

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

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

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

Iron Kingdom, Christopher Clark's stately, authoritative history of Prussia from its humble beginnings to its ignominious end, presents a much more complicated and compelling picture of the German state, which is too often reduced to a caricature of spiked helmets and polished boots. Prussia and its army were inseparable, but Prussia was also renowned for its efficient, incorruptible civil service; its innovative system of social services; its religious tolerance; and its unrivaled education system, a model for the rest of Germany and the world. This too was Prussia--a tormented kingdom that, like a tragic hero, was brought down by the very qualities that raised it up. Mr. Clark, a senior lecturer in modern European history at Cambridge University, does an exemplary job. A lively writer, he organizes masses of material in orderly fashion, clearly establishing his main themes and pausing at crucial junctures to recapitulate and reconsider. Prussia, a self-invented artifact right down to its name, demands the kind of careful demythologizing that it receives from Mr. Clark, who gently but insistently exposes the flaws in most of the received wisdom about his subject. A result is an illuminating, profoundly satisfying work of history, brightened by vivid character sketches of the principals in his drama.-- (09/27/2006)

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)

Product Description

'Of the "Great Powers" that dominated Europe from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, Prussia is the only one to have vanished … Iron Kingdom is not just good: it is everything a history book ought to be … The nemesis of Prussia has cast such a long shadow that German historians have tiptoed around the subject. Thus it was left to an Englishman to write what is surely the best history of Prussia in any language' Sunday Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 45686 KB
  • Print Length: 820 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (6 September 2007)
  • Sold by: Penguin UK
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9PMM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,862 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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7 August 2018
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 191 reviews
WEN
5.0 out of 5 starsDetail not found elsewhere, helpful to understand ancestrial emigration.
23 January 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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25 people found this helpful
Alan Clardy
3.0 out of 5 starsHistorically comprehensive but frustrating nonetheless
22 September 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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13 people found this helpful
MC
4.0 out of 5 starsChristopher Clark wrote the best single volume explaining the outbreak of World War One
17 June 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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7 people found this helpful
Ben Spencer
5.0 out of 5 starsPage turner!
26 July 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
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27 people found this helpful