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Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II
3 Volume Paperback Set


  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Multiple copy pack
  • isbn: 9781316505106

£ 108.00
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About the Authors
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941) ruled Imperial Germany from his accession in 1888 to his enforced abdication in 1918 at the end of the First World War. These three acclaimed books provide the most detailed account ever written of his reign. In Volume 1, on the Kaiser's early life, John Röhl charts the bitter conflict between the handicapped prince and his liberal parents, and the utter failure of attempts to turn the young prince into a liberal Anglophile. Volume 2 shows how Wilhelm's thirst for glory, his overweening nationalism and militarism, and his passion for the navy provided the impetus for a breathtaking long-term goal: the transformation of the German Reich into the foremost power in the world. The final volume examines the mounting tensions caused by the Kaiser's policies at home and abroad, and reveals his central role in the origins of the First World War.

    • One of the supreme biographical undertakings of modern times
    • The three volumes offer the most comprehensive account ever written of the Kaiser's life
    • Transforms our understanding of Imperial Germany and of the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Multiple copy pack
    • isbn: 9781316505106
    • length: 3884 pages
    • dimensions: 252 x 208 x 309 mm
    • weight: 6.7kg
    • contains: 158 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Volume 1: Preface to the English edition
    Introduction to the German edition
    1. Birth trauma: 'it's alive and it's a prince'
    2. Disorder and early sorrow
    3. Ambivalent motherhood
    4. An English princess at the Prussian court
    5. Blood and history
    6. Education fit for a king
    7. The doctor
    8. Trials and tribulations
    9. Experiment in Kassel
    10. Spring dreams and awakening
    11. Coming of age
    12. The student prince
    13. A question of balance: the inner-ear illness of Kaiser Wilhelm II
    14. Cabal and love
    15. Estrangement
    16. Politics
    17. First steps in foreign affairs: Prince Wilhelm between England and Russia
    18. Eros and Austria
    19. 'W. W. W.': Wilhelm-Wedel-Waldersee
    20. Prince Wilhelm and the Battenberg conspiracy
    21. The crown prince's nightmares
    22. The gradual seizure of power
    23. Waldersee and the world conflagration
    24. The edge of darkness: the crown prince on the eve of catastrophe
    25. The flight of the crown prince in the face of death
    26. Prince Wilhelm and Queen Victoria's Jubilee
    27. Crisis in San Remo
    28. The Stoecker meeting and the break with the Bismarcks
    29. Prince Wilhelm and the war party
    30. Preparing for power
    31. The macabre race for the throne
    32. Impotence and agony
    List of archival sources
    List of books cited
    Volume 2: Preface to the English edition
    Preface to the German edition
    1. The accession
    2. The first state visits
    3. The Kaiser and his mother
    4. An ominous family quarrel
    5. The young Kaiser: a sketch drawn from nature
    6. First steps in foreign affairs
    7. The pillars of imperial power
    8. The domination of the Bismarcks
    9. The Bismarck crisis begins
    10. The Kaiser, the Chancellor and the Kartell
    11. Constitutional conflicts
    12. Bismarck's fall from power
    13. The haphazard transition: from the Bismarcks to the New Course
    14. In Bismarck's footsteps: the conduct of foreign policy under the New Course
    15. The dualism of power
    16. The fall of the court generals
    17. The School Bill crisis and the fragmentation of power
    18. Dynastic diplomacy
    19. The rude awakening
    20. The predictable disaster: Wilhelm II and the 'public soul' of Germany
    21. Caprivi's dismissal
    22. Head of the family
    23. The Kaiser and the 'Newest Course'
    24. An enemy of the people
    25. Wilhelm and world politics
    26. Great Britain and the spectre of encirclement
    27. Endgame: the breakthrough to decisive personal power
    28. Personal monarchy: Wilhelm II at the summit of power
    29. The Kaiser, art and architecture
    30. The challenge: from continental policy to Weltpolitik
    31. The Kaiser and England
    32. Wilhelm and the birth of the German battle fleet
    33. 'Young Germany, your Kaiser!' or what was wrong with Wilhelm II?
    List of archival sources
    Select bibliography
    Volume 3:
    1. Death and transfiguration
    2. The Kaiser and England during the Boer War
    3. 'I am the balance of power in Europe': Wilhelm between Britain, Russia and France
    4. The Boxer Rebellion and the Baghdad Railway
    5. The shabby compromise: Wilhelm II and Bülow's Chancellorship
    6. Wilhelm II and the Germans, 1900–1904
    7. 'We two make history and destiny is in our hands!' Kaiser and Tsar on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War
    8. The Anglo-German antagonism: the Kaiser, the King and public opinion
    9. The Kaiser and America
    10. Uncle and nephew: Edward VII and the 'encirclement' of Germany
    11. East Asia in flames: the Russo-Japanese War and its consequences
    12. Operational plans for a war in Western Europe
    13. 'Paris must get one in the eye from us one day!' The Kaiser and the First Morocco Crisis
    14. 'A turning point in the history of Europe', or the fiasco of Björkö
    15. Balance of power or hegemony? The Anglo-German conflict and the quarrel with King Edward
    16. Humiliation in Algeciras
    17. 'Encirclement': caught in the web of the Entente
    18. Germany's 'Dreadnought Leap': the K

  • Author

    John C. G. Röhl
    John C. G. Röhl is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sussex. His many previous publications include The Kaiser and his Court (1994) which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize as well as the two previous volumes of his biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II – Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859–1888 (Cambridge, 1998) and Wilhelm II: The Kaiser's Personal Monarchy, 1888–1900 (Cambridge, 2004), which have won the Einhard Prize for the biography of a major European figure in 2012.

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