The History of Germany Since 1789 by Golo Mann

This was a beautifully written book that covered Germany from its earliest nationalist stirrings following the French Revolution to the postwar partioned Germany up through 1965. There were colorful portraits of German statesmen such as Bismarck, William II, Adenauer, and yes, the most famous one of all. The chapter devoted to the Nazi episode was thorough and spared no one, but the author goes to great pains to argue that the German people at that time were not as evil as the people who led them. The book concludes on the note that Germans have regained their prosperity and their prominent place in the world without being the threat to anyone that they were in former times. The author, by the way, is the son of the famous German literary figure Thomas Mann.

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