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The last Kaiser : the life of Wilhelm II

Author: Giles MacDonogh
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st U.S. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Prussia's last King and Germany's last Kaiser was born in Potsdam on January 27, 1859, the son of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Princes Vicky, Queen Victoria's eldest child. William was born with a withered arm and suffered from cerebral palsy; many historians have sought in this a clue to his behavior in later life. He was believed mad by some, eccentric by others. Possessed of a ferocious temper, he was prone
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Genre/Form: Biographies
History
Biography
Named Person: William, German Emperor; William, German Emperor
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Giles MacDonogh
ISBN: 0312276737 9780312276737
OCLC Number: 47023403
Notes: Originally published: The last Kaiser : William the Impetuous. London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, ©2000.
Description: x, 532 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Family Tree --
The Inheritance --
Synthesis --
The Emperor as a Young Man --
Influence and Responsibilities --
Duel to the Death --
Countdown --
Ninety-Nine Days --
The Struggle with the Bismarcks --
The Liberal Empire --
Uncle Chlodwig --
Bulow --
A Sea of Troubles --
Bethmann-Hollweg --
The Slide into War --
Into the Shadows --
Bowing Out --
Amerongen and Doorn --
William and Adolf.
Responsibility: Giles MacDonogh.
More information:

Abstract:

"Prussia's last King and Germany's last Kaiser was born in Potsdam on January 27, 1859, the son of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Princes Vicky, Queen Victoria's eldest child. William was born with a withered arm and suffered from cerebral palsy; many historians have sought in this a clue to his behavior in later life. He was believed mad by some, eccentric by others. Possessed of a ferocious temper, he was prone to reactionary statements, often contradicted by his next action or utterance. He was rumored to have sired numerous illegitimate children and yet was by all appearances a prig. A severe Calvinist tutor brought him up, but his entourage spoiled him, allowing him to win at games and maneuvers to compensate for his deformities.

This gave him a sense of inherent invincibility."

"William became Kaiser at age twenty-nine. Two years later, he drove Bismarck out after the latter had blocked his social policy. He destabilized the Iron Chancellor's foreign policy by failing to renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, a decision that opened the way for Russia's alliance with France in 1894. He denied that the fleet he built was targeted at Britain, but there is evidence that German domination of the seas was the aim of William's secretary of state, who was altogether less anxious to please the British than the grandson of Queen Victoria. William idolized the Queen. As soon as he heard she was dying, he rushed to Osborne House to be at her bedside. His own daughter later said, "The Queen of England died in the arms of the German Kaiser.""

"William II is widely perceived as a warmonger who seemed to delight in power grabbing, bloodshed, and the belligerent aims of his staff, yet the image he carved out for himself and posterity was that of "emperor of peace". William has historically been blamed for World War I, although he made real efforts to prevent the conflict. He has been branded an anti-Semite, but ironically the Nazis wrote him off as a "Jew-lover." In this authoritative new biography, MacDonogh, widely praised for his life of Frederick the Great, takes a fresh look at this complex and contradictory statesman and the charges against him to find that many can no longer be upheld."--Jacket.

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