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Cassell's Dictionary of Modern German History Hardcover – May 1, 2003
First published in Great Britain, this dictionary, authored by University of Newcastle professor Kirk, aims to outline the progress of Germany from a disparate group of duchies and fiefdoms in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the world-shaping events of the two world wars to the reunited nation it is today. Major political movements; key events; important economic, cultural, and social elements; and major figures in "modern" German history are covered in more than 1,800 entries. The nominal starting point chronologically for the book is about 1700, though the most emphasis is given to the twentieth century. Seminal topics like the Holocaust and World War I or II are covered in about a full page, while others, like the peace of Utrecht or Berchtesgaden (Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" retreat), take up only a sentence or short paragraph.
Although entries are generally short, as expected in a dictionary, cross-references are plentiful and helpful, keeping the interested user thumbing from entry to entry to fill in knowledge gaps. The back of the volume contains six black-and-white maps of Germany at pivotal stages in history. There is an extremely helpful 35-page chronology, ranging from the siege of Vienna by Turks in 1683 to an arson attack on a Dusseldorf synagogue in 2000. The appendixes also contain extensive lists of political leaders, emperors, kings, heads of state, chancellors, and cabinet members as well as election results (Reichstag and Bundestag). Finally, a subject index and a further reading section, 10 pages each, are provided. The subject index is in list form, with major categories such as "Geography," "Nazi Germany," and "Political and economic history" listed. The further reading section is in narrative format, making it difficult to utilize at a quick glance.
This is a very handy and comprehensive resource presented with overall clarity and insight. It is recommended for academic and large public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Tim Kirk is a lecturer in German history at the University of Newcastle. He specializes in the history of the Third Reich and has written and edited a number of books and articles including THE LONGMAN COMPANION TO NAZI GERMANY.
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