Germany: A New History New Ed Edition

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674005457
ISBN-10: 0674005457
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

From Booklist

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (May 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674005457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674005457
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Wells on November 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Yasin Ozcelik on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
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

[...]
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Book Mark on December 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Navigator on December 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Baraniecki Mark Stuart on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
In "Germany: A New History", Schultze looks at German history from Roman times onwards. His theme is the way in which the people of this region have identified themselves, and it's a surprise to discover that the term "German" would only have had meaning for them from the mid 19th Century onwards.

Previously, this patchwork of principalities, duchies, bishoprics, counties, imperial cities and military religious districts such as the Knights of the Teutonic Order were part of the "Holy Roman Empire" - inheritors of the Roman Empire, with a weak elective kingship and strong neighbouring countries that were happy to keep it that way.

He shows how the Napoleonic invasion sparked ideas of nationality with the concept of Germany only arriving with the Prussian defeat of France in 1871. An unstable nationalist Germany crashed spectacularly (twice) before miraculously becoming the foundation stone of a new democratic European Community.
A first rate book about Germany and its people.
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