Since its first publication in 1980, Professor Kennedy's masterly account of the rivalry between Great Britain and Germany in the period leading to the First World War has established itself as the definitive work on the subject.
Over ten years of research in more than sixty archives in Britain and Germany culminated in this full-scale, meticulous analysis. The result reaches far beyond a diplomatic narrative of relations between the two countries. It concerns itself with a thorough comparison of the two societies, their political cultures, economies, party politics, courts, the role of the press and pressure groups, and other factors. The work therefore contributes to the larger debate on the nature of foreign policy, as well as to the specific controversies over the British-German antagonisms that eventually led to war.