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Bismarck: A Life

Bismarck: A Life

This riveting, New York Times bestselling biography illuminates the life of Otto von Bismarck, the statesman who unified Germany but who also embodied everything brutal and ruthless about Prussian culture.
Jonathan Steinberg draws heavily on contemporary writings, allowing Bismarck's friends and foes to tell the story. What rises from these pages is a complex giant of a man: a hypochondriac with the constitution of an ox, a brutal tyrant who could easily shed tears, a convert to an extreme form of evangelical Protestantism who secularized schools and introduced civil divorce. Bismarck may have been in sheer ability the most intelligent man to direct a great state in modern times. His brilliance and insight dazzled his contemporaries. But all agreed there was also something demonic, diabolical, overwhelming, beyond human attributes, in Bismarck's personality. He was a kind of malign genius who, behind the various postures, concealed an ice-cold contempt for his fellow human beings and a drive to control and rule them. As one contemporary noted: -the Bismarck regime was a constant orgy of scorn and abuse of mankind, collectively and individually.-
In this comprehensive and expansive biography--a brilliant study in power--Jonathan Steinberg brings Bismarck to life, revealing the stark contrast between the -Iron Chancellor's- unmatched political skills and his profoundly flawed human character.

Titulo:Bismarck: A Life
Idioma de edición:English
ISBN:9780199782529
Tipo de formato:



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Acerca de Jonathan Steinberg

Jonathan Steinberg is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of European History and former Chair of the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his A. B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University.


    Bismarck: A Life Comentarios

  • Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont

    The Juggler Nineteenth century Europe was a game of two halves or, better, a game of two men: the Emperor Napoleon, who dominated the first, and Otto von Bismarck, who dominated the second. If anythi...

  • Mikey B.

    My purpose in reading this book was to obtain background on German history in the 19th century and Mr. Steinberg is largely successful at this. We can clearly see that Bismarck was the catapult for th...

  • Vheissu

    "Admirable" is not a word I can apply to Bismarck, nor it is a word that Steinberg suggests. Otto von Bismarck was a viscous, vindictive, duplicitous, unprincipled "dictator" (yes, dictator is how mos...

  • Arminius

    “The Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck is regarded as the greatest statesman of the 19th Century due to his great accomplishments while running Prussia from 1861 to 1898. His first great accompli...

  • Dan

    This was a detailed treatment of The Mad Junker with lots of primary sources. It was a tough, tough read, though; very dense at times, and demanding that I recall my previous coursework in 19th centur...

  • Lars Brownworth

    The first ingredient in a successful biography is a good subject, and Steinberg couldn’t have asked for a better one. He perfectly sums us the enigma of Bismark in his opening chapter: The Iron Chan...

  • Frank Stein

    An impressive and shocking portrait of a political genius and a damaged individual. Steinberg manages to depict the grand course of German history over the entirety of the nineteenth century through t...

  • Richard

    (Well-reviewed in the New York Times by Henry Kissinger: Otto von Bismarck, Master Statesman.)Abandoned. I'd still like to read on this topic, but this was the wrong biography to start with. Steinberg...

  • David

    Not a terribly perceptive nor compelling read...but adequate. Useful for the novice Germanophile but nothing that hasn't been covered elsewhere and in some cases much better. Still, a mildly interesti...

  • Mark

    No person was more responsible for the creation of Germany in 1871 than Otto von Bismarck. First as minister-president of Prussia, then as chancellor of the German Empire he shaped and guided the crea...

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