The traditional view of the monocle bearing, militaristic, authoritarian state of Prussia is one that has lingered long in the memory. Indeed, the very name of Prussia conjures up images of Teutonic efficiency and aggressive militarism.
Thankfully, Professor Clark holes this idea below the waterline.
The book take us through a journey from Prussia as a European backwater, to its rise through shrewd power play and dynastic intrigue. We see Prussia staring into the abyss as Napoleon blazes a trail through Europe, only to rise again. We see a traditional Prussian anxiety of facing a two front war against France and Russia, magnified into German policy, and above all, we see the tragedy of the Prussian core - the lack of civilian control over the military.