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Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War by [Massie, Robert K.]
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Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Review

"History at its best, a fantastic mix of anecdote, observation and intelligent thinking" (Dan Snow Daily Express)

"Inheritor of Barbara Tuchman's mantle as the English-speaking world's pre-eminent popular historian...Robert K. Massie has now turned his attention to the arms race between Britain and Germany c.1890-1914, the most important precipitant towards the outbreak of the First World War." (Frank McLynn)

"Massie tells the story with controlled energy and attention to detail, especially human detail. It ahs not been told so well before." (Literary Review)

"He can take an enormous canvas and fill every inch with action and description." (Sunday Times)

"He has the supreme gift of making history live in simple, readable language." (Observer)

From the Inside Flap

"A classic [that] covers superbly a whole era...Engrossing in its glittering gallery of characters."
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Robert K. Massie has written a richly textured and gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century's first great arms race. Massie brings to vivid life, such historical figures as the single-minded Admiral von Tirpitz, the young, ambitious, Winston Churchill, the ruthless, sycophantic Chancellor Bernhard von Bulow, and many others. Their story, and the story of the era, filled with misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and events leading to unintended conclusions, unfolds like a Greek tratedy in his powerful narrative. Intimately human and dramatic, DREADNOUGHT is history at its most riveting.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6955 KB
  • Print Length: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (1 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D5FOGL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,553 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Massie makes dense historical detail very readable. He describes events leading to World War I as they unroll: there is the sense that you are present as things happen.

I enjoyed the pen-portraits of key people. Names which had been little more than labels for me are expanded into fully-fleshed portraits. The roles and influences of the European royal families make fascinating reading: descriptions of conversations, and many letters, are particularly revealing.

There are good accounts of developing naval technologies. With hindsight we can see that the evermore powerful battleships being built by Britain and Germany were quickly becoming obsolescent as new weapons such as torpedoes, mines, submarines and aircraft came on-line, together with the growing importance of aircraft carriers.

Massie also covers the many negotiations attempting to keep the peace in Europe: but these were doomed as Austria and Germany were, apparently, committed to war.

This period marks the relative decline of the Royal Navy as the dominant world naval force. Massie shows how this decline reflected the growing industrial power of other nations, particularly the United States.

Overall, highly recommended as a good and informative read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
arrived on time and in excellent condition, Dan Snow recommended this book, and it is well worth the read, a brilliantly written account of the lead up to the first world war, how it happened, who all the personalities were, the history written in a concise and informative way. Nearly one thousand pages on small type, seems very daunting to the average reader but a real page turner. Highly recommended, and explains how the world we know today full of its troubles came to be. A must read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well written and beautifully compiled book, but unless you are a devote of political history,it sadly missed the mark through many of its chapters. So much of the pages content seem to have little or no direct relevance into the cause of the great War, or if they have, and I have missed the relevance, the connection must be tenuous.

A fan of the politics of the latter 19th and early 20th century will savour the authors efforts, but anyone wanting a concise and relevant history of the naval arms race will be disappointed.

I have tried, but found the side tracking into Westminster to frequent and to sleep inducing. A shame as the author has a great skill with the written word.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a fabulous read.
Massie clearly loves the subject his enthusiasm leaps off the page (after page after page after page - this is a long book).
He details the various people involved bringing them to life with potted histories of ther lives that formed them as they are introduced into the main line of the historical events that are the focus of the book.
That main line of events from Bismark all the way to the start of the 1st world war is pretty immense. The interplay of people, countries and events all building with a terrible inevitability towards the conflict where the lights go out all over europe is both compelling and horrifying, because it was real.
Very approachable, readable, enjoyable.
And yet so very very terrible.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a book I intended to read a long time ago. This 'second' hand copy was a bargain and arrived in very good nick. It is a long book, full of detail and is a great read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Detailed and informative. Well written and interesting.
Events dear boy events no . Was any government in control? Good account.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lots of good points made in other reviews which I shall try not to repeat. Yes, the title is misleading but perhaps less so if, like me, you had one of the original hardback copies (1992) which has pictures of Edward VII and Kaiser Wilhelm II on the cover. Not a sign of any boats. And only one photo in the book itself. (There is a Haynes manual for dreadnoughts!) My knowledge of this period of history has certainly been much enhanced. I was unaware of the key roles, for example, of Sir Edward Grey in the years leading up to the outbreak of war and perhaps too of John (“Jackie”) Fisher in the development of the navy including the building of many large capital ships. Similarly, the very close and cultivated links between the British and German royal families, such as the Kaiser being Queen Victoria’s grandson. Others have pointed out that the chronology is sometimes difficult to grasp, often because of the biographical details given of the key players; a time chart and indeed a dramatis personae would have been very useful. For once, maps are adequate. Dining together as a means of exchanging views seems to have played a key role at a time when radio, let alone TV, was in its infancy. And politicians walked to work and even walked for pleasure. A different pace of life. All in all, an excellent read though you cannot afford to relax!
One or two errors which may of course have been corrected in the recently issued paperback version: at the start of war the royal family were still the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, not yet Windsor which they became in 1917 for understandable reasons (p106); entering the Mediterranean you are steaming eastwards, not westwards (p434). There are others.
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