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I almost did not buy this after a review for this book that said the author assumes that the reader knows a lot of European history.
Eventually I bought this book and I'm very glad I did. The author only assumes readers (1) know the very basics of Prussia, Junkers, and the formation of German; (2) know the causes of WW1 and the players involved; and (3) know a bit about HItler.
I like the style of this book, because it doesn't focus on every mundane detail of Bismark's life, or spend time analyzing his grandparents like other authors would (I don't care about the grandparents of famous historical figures). Instead, it mostly sticks to explaining and analyzing Bismark's personalty, career and political maneuvers.
Also, unlike many biographers, this author is not afraid to expressly judge his subject or the impact he had on his country. He thinks Bismark was immoral and not quite as far-sighted as most historians seem to think. The author also thinks Bismark actions contributed to leading Germany into WW1 and WW2. In fact, the author probably goes a bit overboard in this direction, but nevertheless this makes for interesting, rather easy, listening.
If you are interested in WW1 and want to get more into 19th century European history, I would suggest this book. Also you should get it if you heard extraordinary claims about Bismark and are interested in learning more about the man.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
The author negative bias towards the subject of the book is so evident that I had to return the book. Every author has his or her biases, but a professional one overcomes them.