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The Shortest History of Germany: From Julius Caesar to Angela Merkel -- A Retelling for Our Times
Contributor(s): Hawes, James

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ISBN: 1615195696     ISBN-13: 9781615195695
Publisher: Experiment Llc
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: March 2019

An internationally bestselling, fresh, and entertaining take on the 2,000-year history of Germany—a country at the heart of the West’s survival

As the West grapples with the rise of populism, some cite Germany as one of the last global powers capable of restoring Europe’s fading glory and upholding Western liberal values seemingly under threat around the world. But how did Germany get here? How did it rebuild in the tragic aftermath of WWII? What about Germany allowed for the rise of Nazism in the first place? And what can we learn from the history of a people who did not develop a modern nation until 1871? 

James Hawes answers all these questions and more. With over 100 maps, images, and diagrams, The Shortest History of Germany locates the true roots of the horrors of Nazi Germany in a way that no book has done before, and it shows how an ancient Roman divide—the Limes Germanicus—has fundamentally defined not only German history, but also the Germany we think we know today.  

Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- History | Europe
Dewey: 943
LCCN: 2018054456
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 7.50" H x 5.00" W x 0.50" (0.50 lbs) 238 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2019 February #4)

With this pocket-size history, Hawes (Englanders and Huns) delivers a wide-ranging yet precise chronicle of political leaders who have served and shaped what is now Germany. He opens with Julius Caesar, who named the country and described a people preoccupied by "the pursuits of the military arts," (his contemporary Tacitus, meanwhile, noted its "pure race"). Following snapshots of Charlemagne's reign, the founding of Lutheranism, and the emperors Frederick I, II, and III, Hawes covers history from the internecine 17th-century power struggle among three dynasties (Habsburgs, Hohenzollers, and Wettins) to the emergence of the Third Reich. The author shows how after WWI, Munich became "a haven for extreme right-wingers" who galvanized the "Lutheran countryside" and laid the groundwork for WWII. While the book ends on a cautionary note about the current rise of nationalism throughout Europe, in light of Germany's lengthy history, the author concludes that the Nazi era was "a terrible aberration" and that Chancellor Angela Merkel must "hold firm" in invoking the Germany of Charlemagne. The book is embellished with maps, illustrations, diagrams, and boxes that break up the text nicely and clarify various concepts and geographical changes. (Curiously, post-WWII West Germany closely resembled what the Romans called Germania.) This clearly presented history will be of particular interest to readers following the political machinations of the European Union. (Mar.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.
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