I had to have this for a Modern Germany course. It was pretty boring (it is a textbook after all), however, it was really helpful. It gives you a good overview of Germany during specific time periods. It can get confusing if you don't pay attention to the wording though. It also skips around a little depending on the topic being discussed. Over all it did the job and helped me complete the class.
This book, despite being about one of the most fascinating cultures of the early modern period, manages to mess it all up by being incredibly boring. The book is overly analytical of things that do not really matter in the context of the period. It skips over many important details but emphasizes others. For example: Would you like to know what Bismarck said to make the German people angry at France? Me too! Instead it mentions that he angered them while going into excruciating detail about the tax rates of individual states pre-Empire. Another example: Why did the German Confederation and its powerhouse Prussia dislike Austria? Religion mostly, but the book certainly won't tell you that. How did the Zollverein work? Who cares! Boy howdy I hope you like long metaphors explained every two or so pages.
The print is small and each chapter is about 40 pages, which would be fine in a book that is at least somewhat interesting. If it weren't required for classes, I believe this book would never be purchased. If you have a class with it, be warned. Your brain is going to melt.
If you absolutely have to have a book about this period and this culture you can do so much better. Unless, of course, you like reading 40 pages per chapter of blathering about stuff that doesn't matter while reading Cliff's Notes versions of important developments.
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