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A Concise History of Germany (Cambridge Concise Histories) , Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521540711
ISBN-10: 0521540712
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Fulbrook (University Coll., London) prefaces her concise history with the fretful expectation that "attempts to compress over a thousand years of highly complex history into a brief volume will . . . provoke squeals of protest from . . . specialists." Well, perhaps from specialists, but not from the average reader. True, the medieval centuries are dispatched summarily, but a more leisured pace leads us through the modern era to early 1990. No particular ideological stance colors the presentation, and judicious references to the various interpretations of other historians balance the account. The text is adorned nicely with 41 illustrations and 13 maps, and a "highly selective" bibliography of some 150 recent titles in English. This is a beginner's volume, a good one. The curious will need to go on for the rich detail that can make history interesting. Recommended for public libraries.
- James B. Street, Santa Cruz P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'... a thunderingly good read...the best introduction to German history for the general reader.' German History

'... a book which is well worth reading by the history student as well as anyone with a general interest in history.' Jönköpirgs-Poslen

'... an excellent introduction and summary.' Södermanlands Nyheter

'This remains one of the best short surveys in this impressive series.' Contemporary Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (March 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521540712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521540711
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A Concise History of Germany, written by Mary Fulbrook, first published in 1990 by the Cambridge University Press and revised in 1992, presents a chronicle of central Europe from the time of the Early Medieval Period to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Fulbrook's objective in writing the book was to provide a concise yet sweeping view of the development of the German state, exploring the apparent contradictions and paradoxes regarding the social, political, and cultural characteristics of Germany and its peoples. Fulbrook has succeeded in this goal, as her book is contained in one relatively short volume encompassing the span of German history; however, as Fulbrook herself writes in the preface to her book, "The attempt to compress over a thousand years of highly complex history into a brief volume will inevitably provoke squeals of protest from countless specialists." As such, this book, though an excellent piece of historical writing, does contain certain flaws, but those do not detract significantly from the overall quality of the work.
A Concise History of Germany is exactly that: it is a brief account of the primary elements that make up the course of Germany's history. The eccentricities and peculiarities of Germany's long history have been at the center of much extensive deliberation in the academic community. Fulbrook's book is essentially an amalgamation of a wide range of preexisting historical material that delves into the principal social, political, and cultural elements contributing to the scholarly controversy surrounding the development of Germany. In her book, Fulbrook reviews and interprets the significant events of the last thousand years of Central European history.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Mary Fulbrook attempts the impossible in this slender book-- to review, and interpret, the events of the last thousand years in complex central Europe. She succeeds admirably, providing a concise (as promised) summary of German history from the Medaeval era up through the "revolution" of 1989. Having previously read only specialized accounts of late 19th and 20th century history by V. R. Berghahn and others, Fulbrook provides the needed context to interpret these more modern events.
The book also contains a moderate number of interesting plates, mainly reproductions of contemporary engravings and political cartoons. The maps, however, while required to correlate events with their geographical location, are not of the highest quality. I was helped by following along in a historical atlas as I read the book (Putzger historischer Weltatlas, Ausgabe mit Register, by Walter Leisering). However, this criticism is minor and does not negate the overall success of Fulbrook's attempt to make a readable overview of the complexities of German history.
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Format: Paperback
"A Concise History of Germany"
Mary Fulbrook
ISBN 0-521-36836-7
I was interested in reading this book to get insight about places I had visited in Germany and hopefully about some I would see in the future.
Mary Fulbrook states that a history of Germany, a country which has not existed as such for so many years, is really a history of the German speaking peoples. Indeed, the history of Germany has been long, complex, and often influenced by war.
There was some of the insight that I sought in this book, for example, in the section, "The German Peasant's War". I had come across references to this conflict a few times in Germany. Fulbrook writes that by 1525, there were 300,000 peasants in armed revolt in German speaking areas. Over 100,000 were ultimately killed when the rebellions were put down. There had been other related rebellions preceding this war in the previous half century, she writes.
The Thirty Years War, from 1618 to 1648, was another conflict, described by the author, that I have seen references to in Germany in association with cities of Rothenburg, Noerdlingen, Heidelberg, and Seligenstadt among others.
Another part of this book that I found interesting was the account of the Weimar Republic. It lasted a little over fourteen years. In the end, large numbers of Germans from the left and right rejected democracy as a form of government. This government failed for a number of reasons. Some related to harsh peace terms after WWI and an unstable economy. The depression in the United States and the cancellation of short-term loans also played a hand.
The most well known part of German history to the reader would seem to be the Nazi times that led up to WWII and led Germany to destruction.
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Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for this book. The back cover states the aim for the book is to provide a clear and informative guide to the twists and turns of German history. I would say it missed the target. Being someone who is interested in German history, especially the Third Reich, and the DDR, I was hoping this book would be a good introduction to German history prior to 1914.

I found the writing confusing and non-engaging. Maybe it is due to the chaotic nature of early German history itself but If found it hard to follow. I don't think this book is for or aimed at new students of German history. The chapters on WWI and WWII were too concise and extremely lacking, in my opinion. Being someone who knows and has read about these two periods quite a bit, someone who was new to these periods would benefit little in reading them, just as I benefited little with the other chapters.

Don't expect footnotes or the like (at least in my 'updated' 1992 edition) - only a minimal guide to further reading. I was hoping a book like this, which seems targeted at beginners or those with very little or no information about Germany, would have an annotated bibliography, stating why one book or another would be useful to one's study of German history, but this was not the case.

I will be looking for a better introduction to German history as a whole.
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