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4.0 out of 5 stars A serious book written in an engaging style.
First of all I should declare an interest: I find Germany these days pretty admirable. In my career as an engineer I have had many dealings with German companies and universities and have spent a quite a bit of time there and have some command of the language. However, I have remained ignorant of a lot of German history, so I was drawn to this book not so much by academic...
Published 4 months ago by Martin Lloyd

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrific cover . . .
A beautiful book in hardback with thick pages and a terrific cover. Inside there are some interesting illustrations and anecdotes. And that’s it.
I don’t know how many people are still following the Daily Mail Narrative about how the Germans started WWI but I’m sure they will be encouraged by the ridiculous sub-title of this book.

It is...
Published 6 months ago by JMB


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4.0 out of 5 stars A serious book written in an engaging style., 21 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Englanders and Huns: How Five Decades of Enmity LED to the First World War (Hardcover)
First of all I should declare an interest: I find Germany these days pretty admirable. In my career as an engineer I have had many dealings with German companies and universities and have spent a quite a bit of time there and have some command of the language. However, I have remained ignorant of a lot of German history, so I was drawn to this book not so much by academic interest but by a desire to learn more of a country I know and like. From this point of view the book does not disappoint. It gives a fascinating account, which to a non-specialist like me is deeply engaging. The author's style is vivid and sprightly. James Hawes brings out the role played by individuals such as the anglophobe Treitschke so that I now know he is not just the name of a street.

There are one or two quibbles and disappointing aspects. It was a good joke to put a picture of Kaiser Wilhelm II in his Borussia uniform next to a virtual picture of David Cameron in his Bullingdon outfit. But the joke does not really belong in the book and is a distraction. The extracts from contemporary publications are a great help, but at times the quality of reproduction is at best marginal. It would also have been helpful to make the gothic script extracts larger and to have an appendix containing a brief guide to reading it. The fact that the author's Mum can read gothic script does not help readers like me: we need some assistance.

One should not allow James Hawes' easy style and humour to let one overlook the fact that this is a book that makes a serious point. The deterioration in attitudes during the five decades leading up to WW1 are well described here. Running through the account is a concern which Quakers sum up in one of their Advices: "Bring into God's light those emotions, attitudes, and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict...". James Hawes has shone a light on the history of that descent into conflict which I find deeply helpful. All in all this is a seriously good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Englanders and Huns: How Five Decades of Enmity LED to the First World War (Hardcover)
A depressing story showing we were equally to blame. Many thing most people won.t know.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jimboreview, 5 Mar. 2014
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Not the easiest read, but very worthwhile. This covers a period of German history which has never been clear to me and in particular the role of the Junkers and their place in German society.
Although the analysis ends in 1914, the well explained divisions in society make it understandable that when the war ended the country could well have moved in the direction of Lenin.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrific cover . . ., 31 Aug. 2014
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JMB (UK / Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Englanders and Huns: How Five Decades of Enmity LED to the First World War (Hardcover)
A beautiful book in hardback with thick pages and a terrific cover. Inside there are some interesting illustrations and anecdotes. And that’s it.
I don’t know how many people are still following the Daily Mail Narrative about how the Germans started WWI but I’m sure they will be encouraged by the ridiculous sub-title of this book.

It is the French, not the Germans who have always been the traditional British Enemy, the butt of our jokes and the object of our mistrust. Remember Fashoda?
Mind you, in those days (late 19th) when nations actually had eccentricities and traits and unique customs, menus and clothes, I believe that every European nation made fun of the others in equal measure.

Enthusiasm for hating the Germans was whipped up rather quickly by the MSM (The Times, Daily Mail, Evening News) in mid 1914 (all except the Daily News which has inexplicably gone bust . . . .). Before 1914, the preparations for Britain’s war against Germany had been kept secret from the public. See Hidden History on Amazon.
So, no: nice try but no cigar.

The author’s views expressed (quite inappropriately) in this book on the present-day European Union are seriously ‘off the wall’. Reader beware!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look pity about the style, 1 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Englanders and Huns: How Five Decades of Enmity LED to the First World War (Hardcover)
Full of interesting material but the style is far too "slang-y" for me !Ifelt this detracted from the book's qualities.
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