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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars24
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2014
James Bryce (1838-1922) was a professor of jurisprudence who became a leading Liberal politician and who, among many other services to the nation, wrote the Bryce Report on German atrocities in Belgium at the start of the First World War. But he had already written this weighty study back in 1864, when he was still a young man. The edition available is that of 1904, which enabled Bryce to add chapters describing and evaluating the enormous changes that had come about in central Europe during the previous forty years, above all Bismarck's creation in 1870 of the new German Empire, headed by Prussia, which had replaced the old Holy Roman Empire, for centuries headed by Austria, until the latter's formal ending, after a thousand years, in 1806. The writing is clear and vivid, and even today gives the English-speaking reader insights into how the two world wars of the following century came about, and why the structure of the German Federal Republic, created under the aegis of the victorious Western Allies in 1949. has proved so successful in gathering together all the positive elements in German history, and leaving behind the vicious and negative ones. The book is an excellent read, and at only 37 pence, it is a snip!
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on 28 January 2015
Although first published in the 1860's, with a revision in the early 1900's, this is a well researched and well written book of history. Modern historical research may have a different veiwpoint but this does not detract from the book's strength. The distinguished author was a barrister educated in Germany who eventually became the British Ambassador to Washington. In concise and clear prose we learn of The Holy Roman Emperors and they Empire up to the point that the office was abolished by that destroyer of Europe, Napoleon. After that date we learn of the reunification of Germany by Bismarck (a greater man then Napoleon, had he lived he would have spoken out against being in the First Great war). From a 19 C perspective the Franco-Prussian war returned to Germany that which had been taken by France since the 17 C . These and many other topics for historical consideration can be derived from this book.
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on 19 February 2015
This is a nineteenth century text and some of the attitudes it reveals reflect that. That said it is an easy read for an historical text. It leaves the reader with a real feel for how the Holy Roman Empire worked and fitted in with the individual states and rulers of the time (from Charlemagne, whose Empire it tries to emulate to Napoleon who finally abolished it) and how it managed to last a thousand years often with little visible means of support. It is also interesting in the parallels it draws with 'modern' Germany/Prussia in the nineteenth century.
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on 22 March 2014
The kindle version was purchased and arrived in seconds. The book, whist being published many years ago, is reasonably light reading, however this does not detract from the presentation and quality of information contained.
The work is most useful in understanding the part played by the Popes in European politics until the reformation and the rise of greater Germany, concluding with the supremacy of Prussia.
This is not only an excellent book for the student of politics or religion and is a useful continuation from Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire.
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on 15 June 2015
This book is learned, it contains a multitude of facts, but it is very dry and boring. So unlike a later Viscount, John Julius Norwich's fabulously readable Byzantium.
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on 2 January 2015
i like the book , for any one intrested in the period worth reading
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on 6 November 2015
This kept me on my toes - I persevered and was rewarded.
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on 4 December 2014
Interesting and informative well written
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on 12 March 2015
more an academic work
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on 10 December 2014
very interesting
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