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Wallenstein, His Life Narrated Hardcover – 1976

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 909 pages
  • Publisher: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1st edition (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030918847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030918841
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 2.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt that Wallenstein is a terrific piece of scholarship. Mann totally assimilated the huge primary literature on Wallenstein and presents a comprehensive narration of his life. Beyond this, Wallenstein is a detailed portrait not only of its subject but also of political life and war in central Europe before and during the 30 Years War. The drawback of this book is the writing style. While Mann may be the victim of poor choices by the translators, Wallenstein is written in a somewhat stilted and self-consciously literary style that reduces readability. In a book this long and with this much detail, this is a real drawback. A smaller defect is that this English language version was published without footnotes and bibliography, markedly reducing its usefullness.
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Format: Hardcover
Wallenstein served capably and loyally under Hapsburg Emperor Ferdinand II, until circumstances and his gift as a financier brought about the situation of a heavily indebted Emperor to his General. The widening conflagration of those circumstances, instigated by the unrealistic zealousness and proscriptions by the Emperor, fashioned a double edged sword of multiplying enemies and disintegration throughout the Holy Roman Empire on the one hand, and a greater reliance on the abilities of Wallenstein that in turn exacerbated their relationship and brought about Wallenstein's downfall.

The ineptitude of the Emperor and imperial policy in general was thrown into high relief by this able Generalissimo and organiser of men and means. Wallenstein relied on his own realms of finely tuned economy to fit and supply the imperial army, his ruthlessness in the expropriation of estates was at least somewhat tempered by his transforming, organisational ability that made him seem more economically compatible with the Dutch and Hanseatic League. His enemies at court exagerated those similarities of outlook, invented others, criticised his lack of religious zeal and conservative military tactics, until the spoils of the Great Duke became too tempting for a near bankrupt imperial exchequer. Would not the blackening of Wallenstein with treason be a sure way of becoming solvent and saving imperial face? Golo Mann tells all this and more; his narrative envelopes these inner developments of increasing desperation with a broad overview of the European situation, making this a vindicating biography and magisterial history of the first half of the Thirty Years War.
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By A Customer on February 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The mysterious nobleman and warlord Wallenstein portrayed by Germany's prime 20th century historian. A stunning story of life, politics and society of the early years of the "Great European War", centered around the mythical politician. Historical biography at an all-time high by the master of the genre.
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By A Customer on October 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mann's "Wallenstein" is one of the great biographies of the century. The subject is utterly fascinating. Wallenstein is one of history's 'bad boys', a ruthless, godless, grasping, paranoid master of mercenary mayhem, operating in the chaos of the Thirty Years War. Feared and loathed -- and ultimately murdered by his employer, the Holy Roman Emperor -- Wallenstein's military-entrepreneurial genius was sufficient to earn him the idolization of XIXth century German nationalists, who wrote onto his violent career a story of incipient national consciousness.
It is Mann's genius to strip this argument bare, leaving only the chill calculation and bravura wickedness of this evil man. Gorgeously written, fully of witty detail and laconoic comment, "Wallenstein" is a fascinating journey into the mind of a monster in a monstrous time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considered the best biography ever written and I must say that I agree. It took me right back into the early 17th century and the 30 Years War. Truly remarkable.
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