The Shortest History of Germany (Paperback)James Hawes (author)
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Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for April 2018
Read in an afternoon, remember for a lifetime.
Germany? The land where, within living memory, Adolf Hitler was democratically confirmed in power…? Can Germany really have changed so drastically in a single lifetime? Yes, it can. But to understand this – and why Germany may now be our last hope – we have to throw away a great deal of what we think we know about German history, and start afresh.
The West is in full retreat. The Anglo-Saxon powers, great and small, withdraw into fantasies of lost greatness. Populists all over Europe cry out that immigration and globalisation are the work of a nefarious System, run by unseen masters with no national loyalties.
From the Kremlin, Tsar Vladimir watches his Great Game line up, while the Baltic and Vizegrad states shiver — and everyone looks to Berlin. But are the Germans really us, or them? This question has haunted Europe ever since Julius Caesar invented the Germani in 58 BC.
How Roman did Germania ever become? Did the Germans destroy the culture of Rome, or inherit it? Did Bismarck unify Germany or conquer it? Where are the roots of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich? Why did it lose? By what miracle did a better Germany arise from the rubble?
Is Germany now the last Western bastion of industrial prosperity and rational politics? Or are the EU and the Euro merely window-dressing for a new German hegemony?
This fresh, illuminating and concise new history makes sense of Europe’s most admired and feared country. It’s time for the real story of Germany.
A book with startling relevance and insight for our times, Hawse’s swift-moving and readable history not only offers lessons about the Germany’s path through history but also speaks much to the current precariousness of Western ideology and the future of liberal democracy.
As Nick Cohen writes of the book in the Guardian, ‘as America and Britain chase impossible dreams, as populists across Europe exhume chauvinist nationalism from its shallow grave, as Vladimir Putin licks his lips and pats the heads of allies on the far right and left queuing up to offer him their allegiance, Hawes’s question – what is Germany and what does it want to become? – has a frightening urgency.’
Publisher: Old Street Publishing
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
'The most comprehensive and vivid history anyone could expect' - Phillip Pullman
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