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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent account of a little known period in German History, 21 May 2009
This is a vivid account of the period 1918-1920. The book describes in detail the marxist revolutions in Berlin and Munchen, and the chaos faced by the first democratic gouvernment after the abdiction of the emperor.
But it also gives a very clear accountant of the humiliating treatment of the German delegates by the allies, as well as the shattering of Wilson's good intentions.
The style of this book is excellent, with attention to impressive character portraits of leading figures in what is rightly described as a tragedy.
Recommended to all who are interested in the history of Europe.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Should have had another title, 25 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution (Hardcover)
The title is rather misleading. I had hoped to finally have found a good analysis of why all those German kingdoms and their rulers disappeared overnight: they can't all have been impopular with their subjects (I know that several were in fact very well-liked rulers) and most kingdoms and pricipalities had a long history and strong sense of national identity.

So I'm most definitely deducting a star for not getting what the book seems to promise. What I did get was a well-written and in itself enjoyable history of Germany in the post-WW 1 years, and you should certainly get a copy for yourself. But why DID the kings depart and why did their subjects let them go so easily? The book doesn't tell.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really excellent book, very well written on a fascinating and ..., 3 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution (Hardcover)
A really excellent book, very well written on a fascinating and much misunderstood period of European history.
A must-read for anyone who questions what the European Union has done for us.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book, 19 April 2014
This review is from: The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution (Hardcover)
I first read this book as a library borrowing in 1970 at the age of 16 and was bowled over by it then. Much to my delight I found a second hand copy in a Windsor bookshop many years later.

All the reviews here have it spot on. This is history as it should be written and I am about to commence reading it again.

Make no mistake, this is a great book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Germany created order from its WWI defeat chaos , but at a price, 3 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution (Hardcover)
I bought this (Literary Guild) book first in 1969 when at university, nothing to do with my supposed course, and found it gripping. I lost my copy on a house move in 2006 and bought a secondhand copy, sadly without the tattered dust cover, in 2012 to replace it (possibly my own copy repurchased, who knows?).

This was the era when one of the best introductions to Germany history after World War One was William H Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a dense little book that ratted along over several hundred pages of dense print and recounted how it all happened, with more emphasis on the office or bunker politics than grand strategy. Another Shirer work, The Collapse of the Third Republic, recounted how France collapsed into military defeat in a matter of weeks in 1940, and Shirer deftly explained how the seeds of that collapse stemmed from the poisonous politics of the entire French Third Republic from the 1870s onwards. But the question remained how had Germany collapsed so readily into the hands of a dictator.

Here is where Richard Watt's book fills the gap. It shows how the very collapse of the German armies in 1918 set the scene for a deal between the new republic of President Ebert and General Groener, of the Army GHQ, to restore order in the revolution-filled streets of Germany's cities in exchange for a free hand to the army as to method, and how private armies came to be accepted as the price to be paid for suppressing Bolshevism (of which Germany was more fearful having seen how readily the Russian Empire imploded in 1917). As we in Britain have never witnessed revolutionary armed bands running amok, we cannot appreciate how a longing for 'order' can lead to irrational solutions. The 1920s moved onwards from the street chaos of 1918-1920 to the rampant inflation of 1923 which impoverished many middle-class Germans, and then the apparent calm (fuelled for the non-payment of Restoration debts and overseas aid) of the rest of the 1920s - until the world economic crisis played Germany once again into the hands of extremists, comprising army generals, nazis and communists all vying for control of the levers of power.

Doubtless other historians have covered the same period with finer judgments on what exactly happened and why, but, as an extremely readable account of those early years of the Weimar Republic, Watt's book will take some beating. The prices for secondhand editions are very reasonable for what you get.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly fine, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution (Hardcover)
Just fine but hard cover badly marked, albeit rest of book excellent. I regret I have nothing more to add.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HISTORY WRITING AT ITS BEST, 19 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution (Hardcover)
This book is still the leading authority on the post WW1 situation in Europe and the rise of Fascism in Germany. It is also very well written. Hard to put down.
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