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History of Germany, 1780-1918: The Long Nineteenth Century (Blackwell Classic Histories of Europe) 2nd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0631231967
ISBN-10: 063123196X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

‘David Blackbourn is one of the brightest of a younger generation of Anglo-American scholars whose work has transformed the historiography of modern Germany over the past two decades.' Times Higher Education Supplement <!--end-->

‘Here is contemporary historical scholarship at its best. Witty, modest about historical generalizations, but ever willing to introduce revisionism, Blackbourn demonstrates how to write thought-provoking and persuasive prose.' German Studies Review

‘It is elegant, thought-provoking, informative and entertaining, summarizing a formidable body of literature and offering new interpretations of it. Everyone, from undergraduates to experts in the field, and beyond the walls of academia to the educated general reader . . . can read [this book] with profit and pleasure.' Central European History

From the Back Cover

In the late eighteenth century, German-speaking Europe was a patchwork of principalities. Yet by the early twentieth century, unified Germany had become the most powerful state in Europe. David Blackbourn tells the story of this transformation with eloquence, authority and wit, weaving together political, social, and cultural history.

This is a book about revolution, nationalism and the growing role of the state. It also explores subjects that range from religion to racism, and Mozart to medicine. The result is a powerful and original account of Germany from the eve of the French Revolution to the end of World War One.

This highly praised book is now available in a new edition with an updated bibliography.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (October 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 063123196X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631231967
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Cuddihy on June 19, 2010
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The twentieth-century history of Germany is well known by casual readers of history--but how did that very important nation come into existence? David Blackbourn's History of Germany, 1780-1918 answers that question dramatically and with eloquence. His book was written for serious students and, I'd assume, fellow academics, but Blackbourn employs a wonderful narrative sweep that will also grab the interest of non-specialists like me. It's all here--the separate Germanic kingdoms and their very different responses to decades of revolution that erupted largely from out of neighboring France between the 1780s and 1848, the formation and expansion of a modern unified nation during the time of Bismarck, events leading to World War I, the disorder that followed the war, the Hohenzollern dynasty's fall, and the founding of the ill-fated Weimar Republic. There is plenty of rich social and cultural history here, too--the rise of Berlin and Germany's other major cities, as well as the importance of the German industrialists, artists, philosophers, and composers who have left their mark on all of Western civilization. David Blackbourn brings this big story vividly to life in a book that both academics and amateur history buffs can enjoy.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
A tremendously competent piece of research, which portrays and measures wave after wave of social change. For example Blackbourn shows the rise of women in public service vocations, which quickly surpassed the numbers of clergymen or members of religious orders. By the 1880s and 90s their efforts generated whole new industries in previously unvalued "welfare" work -- mother and child welfare, campaigns to eradicate tuberculosis and venereal disease, to raise awareness about nutrition or implement standards for sanitation and housing. In Germany, Fürsorge (welfare) became a catchword for a hundred newly popular initiatives to "improve" people's lives and relations.

Blackbourn captures the kinds of news that mattered more than the same old political and military contests.
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History of Germany 1780-1918 is a serious textbook which is not the kind of book you cuddle in your arms as you cozy up to a fireplace on a sleepy Saturday afternoon. The book is written in a dry, arcane and academic style which will turn off many readers. Many pages are devoted to such topics as":
a. The economic development of Germany from an agricultural to a strong industrial economy
b. The emergence of Prussia as the leading German province leading to the unification of the nation in 1871 following the victory over France at the Battle of Sedan.
c. Social trends are detailed as Germany moves to a sophisticated modern state.
d. The rise of Prussian militarism is detailed as Bismarck the Iron Chancellor makes Germany a nation to be reckoned with in the world economy and arms race.
e. We see the rise of industrialism and the growth of large industries in coal, steel and iron manufacture.
f. The rise of anti-Semitism, imperialism and racism are chronicled.
g. Religion is important in this period with Catholic-Protestant hostility seen as well as religion conflicts with the government. The rise of modern biblical scholarship begins in the German universities.
h. Cities increase in population as problems with the slums and crime become major concerns.
The overwhelming defeat in World War I left German in a parlous state as starvation, inflation and hatred of the Jews is manifested. Germany became ground ripe for the sowing of hatred by Hitler and his Nazi thugs.
This book by Dr. David Blackbourn is not a fun read but it is one of the best books ever written on pre-World War I Germany.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Davis Bourne on July 1, 2015
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Do not attempt to read this if you're not very very familiar with German history. This is not an introduction in any sense of the word to German history. It was very tough to get through because he assume you know details that aren't explained fully. It also has a tough writing style.
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When one finds a historian who can write well, that is, weave a understandable story true to events, then it is incumbent to let others know. To understand World War I one needs to know the history of the long century (1780 - 1918) in Germany. I recommend David Blackbourn's masterful telling without reservation. One problem I had prior to reading this book was the role Germany accepted vis a vis the Austrian-Hungarian Empire prior to the events in August, 1914.

High marks for the author, the press and the editors.
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By hoffbidding on July 14, 2015
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As expected.
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