Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War by Robert K. Massie, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War

Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War

4.3 13
by Robert K. Massie
     
 

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"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

Overview

"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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 11/01/2013
Massie defines the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany as a significant factor in tensions leading up to war. For general readers.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Massie's sweeping narrative centers around the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, highlighting it as one of the major tensions that led to the World War I. He recounts how Admiral John Fisher revolutionized the Royal Navy with the construction of the first modern battleship, H.M.S. Dreadnought, in 1906, and how Britain's ``splendid isolation'' ended when Fisher's German counterpart Admiral Alfred Tirpitz carried out Kaiser Wilhelm's directives for the construction of an equally modern German navy. The author describes the development of Wilhelm's self-described ``peculiar passion for the navy,'' nurtured during frequent boyhood visits to the seaside retreat of his beloved grandmother, Queen Victoria, on the Isle of Wight, into a dangerous resolve to turn Germany into a major naval, colonial and commercial power. Finally, Massie shows how Wilhelm's military machine and the system of alliances he created contributed directly to the outbreak of war in 1914. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Nicholas and Alexandra has written a richly satisfying account of the origins of the Great War. Photos. BOMC selection; author tour. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
Here, as with his Pulitzer Prize-winning Peter the Great (1980), Massie disdains the virtues of literary economy. Yet this history of pre-WW I super-rivalry is much more than an imposing doorstop, for the author is a master of the Barbara Tuchman/William Manchester school of popular history. If there is a villain of this epic, it is Germany's Kaiser William II. Autocratic, bellicose, and tactless enough to refer to British ministers as "unmitigated noodles," he understandably grieved his grandmother and uncle, Britain's Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). In his desire for Weltmacht (world power), William, in 1887, decided to complement the world's most powerful army with a formidable battle fleet, so alarming Great Britain that it ended its foreign policy of "Splendid Isolation" from Continental affairs and began a frantic shipbuilding program of its own. Massie follows the fortunes of the two countries through colonial disputes, secret understandings with former foes, high-wire diplomacy, and tit-for-tat building of dreadnoughts (the class of fast, all-big-gun battleships named for the innovative British vessel built in 1906). Like 19th-century novelists, Massie employs an epic narrative that leisurely explores characters, including such military and political figures as Admirals Alfred von Tirpitz and John Fisher, the commanders who radically transformed their countries' naval defenses; Bernard von Bulow, the cynical German Chancellor who "lacked purpose, scruples, courage, and a vision of his own"; and Winston Churchill. A dramatic re-creation of the diplomatic minuets and military brinkmanship that preceded, and made inevitable, the guns of August 1914and the resulting catastrophes of this century. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs; maps.) (Book-of-the-Month Split Main Selection for December)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345375568
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1992
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
1040
Sales rank:
96,997
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.79(d)

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