Bismarck (Routledge Historical Biographies) by Edgar Feuchtwanger

Germany

By Edgar Feuchtwanger

Routledge old Biographies offer enticing, readable and academically credible biographies written from an explicitly historic point of view. those concise and obtainable debts will deliver very important old figures to existence for college kids and common readers alike. Bismarck used to be arguably crucial determine in nineteenth-century ecu heritage after 1815. during this new biography, Edgar Feuchtwanger reassesses Bismarck's importance as a old determine. He strains his improvement from a standard junker, a reactionary and conservative, into the so-called white progressive who recast ecu affairs extra significantly than someone in view that Napoleon. Feuchtwanger's lucid account de-mythologizes the German chief with no demonising him. This booklet leaves the reader with a strongly etched portrait of 1 of the decisive makers of the fashionable global.

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5 He worked for five months in Potsdam, then reluctantly did his army service, having tried to avoid it by claiming a weakness in his right arm. Some years earlier, when his mother saw how little serious study agreed with him, she suggested a career in the army, but he found the idea abhorrent, strange for one who was to lead the Prussian military monarchy to a peak of power. But, as a young man, official service, civil or military, was clearly not for him. All the time he was seriously embarrassed by his debts.

He was so bored that he briefly returned to the public service in Potsdam, but it lasted only a few weeks. The ‘ridiculous condescension of his superiors’ seemed to him unbearable. We have from this period the draft of a newspaper article, in which he defends hunting against attacks which depicted it as an arrogant Junker pastime, damaging to the crops of hard-working farmers and reeking of Anglomania. Bismarck, for all his contempt for the narrowness of Pomeranian Junker life, is still the class-conscious nobleman, who makes no apologies for his life-style or his privileges.

This movement that had failed was not primarily a national movement but a social one. Through false propaganda the envy of those without property had been aroused against the rich, at a time when years of free thought had undermined the ethical elements of resistance in men’s hearts. Such a phenomenon, claiming to have the Zeitgeist on its side, could not be appeased. True conservatives, and after all the king and Radowitz claimed to be conservatives, had above all to safeguard the Prussian state, with its unique qualities, on which Frederick the Great had based his policies.

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