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The Kaiser
New Research on Wilhelm II's Role in Imperial Germany


Annika Mombauer, Wilhelm Deist, Jonathan Steinberg, Michael Epkenhans, Bernd Sösemann, Katharine A. Lerman, Roderick R. McLean, Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase, Matthew Seligmann, Holger Afflerbach, Matthew Stibbe, Isabel V. Hull, Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann, Volker R. Berghahn
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  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521179805

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About the Authors
  • This collection of innovative essays examining the role of Wilhelm II in Imperial Germany was first published in 2003, particularly on the later years of the monarch's reign. The essays highlight the Kaiser's relationship with statesmen and rulers; his role in international relations; the erosion of his power during the First World War; and his ultimate downfall in 1918. The book demonstrates the extent to which Wilhelm II was able to exercise 'personal rule', largely unopposed by the responsible government, and supported in his decision-making by his influential entourage. The essays are based on thorough and far-reaching research and on a wide range of archival sources. Written to honour the innovative work of John Röhl, Wilhelm II's most famous biographer, on his sixty-fifth birthday, the essays within this volume will continue to provide an exciting evaluation of the role and importance of this controversial monarch.

    • Presents the findings of distinguished international researchers on Wilhelm II and imperial Germany
    • The essays are based on the secondary sources, and incorporate a wealth of primary evidence
    • The volume pays tribute to John Röhl's outstanding work on the Kaiser, offering intriguing perspectives on the diplomatic, constitutional and military history of Wilhelmine Germany
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… excellent collection of essays on Wilhelm II … extraordinary … this book is considerably more than a biography of the Kaiser. Each essay covers some facet of his life in scholarly detail and gives the reader a deeper insight into the politics of Germany before and during World War I … The editors are to be congratulated on managing to publish a book with such a wide ranging theme by a number of scholars and yet provide a continuity which will intrigue both scholar and lay reader.' Open History

    'Review of the hardback: These essays are readable, well crafted and remarkably free of academic jargon.' Stand To! (The Journal of the Western Front Association)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521179805
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Notes on contributors
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction Annika Mombauer and Wilhelm Deist
    Reflections on John Röhl: a laudatio Jonathan Steinberg
    1. Wilhelm II and 'his' navy, 1888–1918 Michael Epkenhans
    2. Hollow-sounding jubilees: forms and effects of public self-display in Wilhelmine Germany Bernd Sösemann
    3. The Kaiser's elite? Wilhelm II and the Berlin administration 1890–1914 Katherine A. Lerman
    4. Wilhelm, Waldersee and the Boxer rebellion Annika Mombauer
    5. Dreams of a German Europe: Wilhelm II and the Treaty of Björkö of 1905 Roderick R. McLean
    6. The uses of 'friendship'. The 'personal regime' of Wilhelm II and Theodore Roosevelt, 1901–1909 Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase
    7. Military diplomacy in a military monarchy? Wilhelm II and his relations with British service attachés in Berlin, 1903–1914 Matthew Seligmann
    8. Wilhelm II as supreme warlord in the First World War Holger Afflerbach
    9. Germany's 'last card'. Wilhelm II and the decision in favour of unrestricted submarine warfare in January 1917 Matthew Stibbe
    10. Military culture, Wilhelm II, and the end of the monarchy in the First World War Isabel V. Hull
    11. Rathenau, Wilhelm II, and the perception of Wilhelminismus Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann
    12. Structure and agency in Wilhelmine Germany: the history of the German Empire - past, present and future Volker R. Berghahn

  • Editors

    Annika Mombauer, The Open University, Milton Keynes

    Wilhelm Deist


    Annika Mombauer, Wilhelm Deist, Jonathan Steinberg, Michael Epkenhans, Bernd Sösemann, Katharine A. Lerman, Roderick R. McLean, Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase, Matthew Seligmann, Holger Afflerbach, Matthew Stibbe, Isabel V. Hull, Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann, Volker R. Berghahn

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