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97 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expansive and detailed history of the Prussian Empire,
Rich in detail, Christopher Clark's new book Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947, is a welcome addition to the multitude of histories covering central Europe. Clark brings to life an era of Prussian history that is little known aside from the 19th and 20th century Kaisers and this expansive history is a fine piece of research.

Clark...
Published on 11 Dec 2006 by A. G. Corwin

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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much talk not enough action...
They say never trust a book by its cover and this book is a great case in point. The paperback oozes the military confidence and strangely warlike nature of Prussia. This promised to be a book that in equal measure dazzles you with military prowess and then the cultural achievements of Prussia all to end in the inferno of World War 2...but then you actually start reading...
Published on 11 Mar 2008 by J. Duducu


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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A huge gap in the middle., 30 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Paperback)
This book is a fraud. There's a huge gaping hole in the middle of it -called the first world war.
How can any balanced account of the rise and downfall of Prussia simply miss out the circumstances of the single most traumatic event in its history. It's simply not good enough for another reviewer to say this is not a military history but a social one, because that is not what the book sells itself as.
Both front and back covers have images of Prussian and early WW1 troops in action and the cover notes promise " C. Clark describes Prussia's great battles" etc.etc "the military machine" etc, etc "a country that - fundamentally shaped our world."
The fundamental event of the early 20th century that shaped our world was the first world war. I bought this book to try and better understand Prussia's view of everything that led up to it and its experience through it, but all this was utterly missing.
It was a heavy read but interesting in places and I patiently endured page after page of obscure rural change in the eighteenth century on the assumption that it was gradually building to give the story of how Prussia came to such prominence and what was its viewpoint on the major world events that it is remembered for.
I was completely stunned therefore that after more than 600 pages of this, the author simply and completely ignored the build up to and execution of the war.
If you think I'm exaggerating then page 618 talks of labour laws in the early 1890's and page 619 (chapter 17) opens neatly with the October 1918 revolution.
What happened inside Prussia between the 1890s-1918? Where are the politics, the social and economic problems, the decisions, strategies, correspondence, machinations and mistakes. It's as if three or four meaty chapters were thrown out.
In short this is a sandwich without a filling. A well researched, heavy but mainly interesting read which builds up to the biggest let down I've had in a book for a very long time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Paperback)
Very infomitive good to read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 29 May 2014
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Absorbing history of Prussia as a political entity in itself and in the world. Very helpful in putting in context anything you might think of from Frederick the Great to Bismarck to WW1 and 2. As with his views on the origins of WW1 and the life of Wilhelm II, Clark gives a view that is not the usual black and white that one is fed by other English language sources, but can sometimes even reverse those colours.. certainly portray them in a nuanced way that seems hard to controvert. One thing seems reasonably probable - even the reunification of Germany will not bring back Prussia, but its legacy remains in many ways.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Prussia: good ideas can have dangerous results, 5 May 2014
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This book is as good and useful to understanding what went wrong in 1914 as is the same author's Sleepwakers. But it is easier to follow because it does not movet about Europe, but fllows a continuous stream of developement from what could be called the invention of Prussia up to its involvement in the two wars, and its influence on them, which led to its abolition by decree in 1947. A good book to read in August 2014!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 12 April 2014
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If you are interested in German history, this book is easily read and gives an understanding of the history of this great country, it's rise and fall and it's people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History at its best, 14 Jan 2014
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Well-written and researched, this is an excellent book that brings a new light unto this important period of European history.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting account of one of the most dominant German states of the last few centuries, 18 Feb 2013
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Christopher Brinkman (Minehead, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Paperback)
This is a good history of Prussia from the beginning of its rise to dominate the other German states, to its abolition, after the Second World War. It explains the militaristic nature of Prussia, without really explaining the unexplainable - how this led to the Nazi state, and the destruction of Prussia, and arguably the destruction of Germany in its Imperial and post imperial incarnations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Got to be interested in Germany / German History, 15 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Paperback)
If you are interested in Germany then this book explains really well about this important geography and historical time. Lets face it Germany is the lead country in Europe by about a mile. understanding some of their history and politics is for me fascinating. I collect German stamps and find the historical timelines really useful.
It is a really well written history of an important time for all of Europe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loads of facts but lively too!, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Paperback)
Read this after "Europe's Tragedy:A History of the Thirty Years War' - I found this a much easier read. It really is quite gripping (however unlikely that may sound) and gives a good introduction to the subject with helpful maps and interesting insights. Quite approachable for the general reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book..., 27 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Paperback)
this is a great book if you are needing it for an essay but i wouldnt suggest it for someone just interested in the period as it is abit impenetrable
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Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947
Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 by Christopher Clark (Paperback - 6 Sep 2007)
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