Bismarck: A Life by Jonathan Steinberg

By Jonathan Steinberg

This riveting, New York Times bestselling biography illuminates the lifetime of Otto von Bismarck, the statesman who unified Germany yet who additionally embodied every thing brutal and ruthless approximately Prussian tradition.

Jonathan Steinberg attracts seriously on modern writings, permitting Bismarck's acquaintances and foes to inform the tale. What rises from those pages is a fancy large of a guy: a hypochondriac with the structure of an ox, a brutal tyrant who may well simply shed tears, a convert to an severe type of evangelical Protestantism who secularized faculties and brought civil divorce. Bismarck could have been in sheer skill the main clever guy to direct an exceptional kingdom nowa days. His brilliance and perception dazzled his contemporaries. yet all agreed there has been additionally anything demonic, diabolical, and overwhelming in Bismarck's character. He was once a type of malign genius who, at the back of some of the postures, hid an ice-cold contempt for his fellow humans and a force to manage and rule them. As one modern famous: "the Bismarck regime was once a continuing orgy of scorn and abuse of mankind, jointly and individually."

A great learn in energy, this complete biography brings Bismarck to existence, revealing the stark distinction among the "Iron Chancellor's" unrivaled political abilities and his profoundly unsuitable human character.

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One reads how much annoyance he had to swallow from high and highest persons. 23 That two people from different worlds and times, an obscure academic in the twenty-first century and a grand society lady of the nineteenth century, saw the same character traits, encouraged the hope that my ‘feel’ for Bismarck’s personality and that of his contemporaries had a foundation. Diaries gave me other unique pleasures. I got a glimpse into the toilet arrangements in the 1870s, when Christoph Tiedemann dined for the first time at the Bismarcks in 1875: 25 January.

His friend and patron, Minister of War Albrecht von Roon, found Bismarck’s insistence on wearing uniform a little awkward. In May of 1862 when Bismarck had arrived in Berlin in the hope that he would soon be made Minister-President, Roon recorded in his diary that at the end of May on Tempelhof field the annual Guards Parade took place, and Bismarck attended: His tall figure wore then the well known cuirassier’s uniform with the yellow collar but only with the rank of major on it. Everybody knew how much trouble getting that had cost him.

2. Statesmen—Germany—Biography. 3. Germany—Politics and government—1871–1888. I. Title. 08′3092—dc22 [B] 2010045387 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper To my partner, Marion Kant Contents Preface Maps 1 Introduction: Bismarck’s ‘Sovereign Self’ 2 Bismarck: Born Prussian and What That Meant 3 Bismarck: The ‘Mad Junker’ 4 Bismarck Represents Himself, 1847–1851 5 Bismarck as Diplomat, 1851–1862 6 Power 7 ‘I have beaten them all! ’ 8 The Unification of Germany, 1866–1870 9 The Decline Begins: Liberals and Catholics 10 ‘The Guest House of the Dead Jew’ 11 Three Kaisers and Bismarck’s Fall from Power 12 Conclusion: Bismarck’s Legacy: Blood and Irony Notes Bibliography Photographic Acknowledgements Index Preface In a preface authors thank those who helped them.

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