Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947

Iron Kingdom The Rise and Downfall of Prussia Winner of the Wolfson History Prize Christopher Clark s Iron Kingdom The Rise and Downfall of Prussia is a compelling account of a country that played a pivotal role in Europe s fortunes an

  • Title: Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947
  • Author: Christopher Clark
  • ISBN: 9780140293340
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, Christopher Clark s Iron Kingdom The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600 1947 is a compelling account of a country that played a pivotal role in Europe s fortunes and fundamentally shaped our world.Prussia began as a medieval backwater, but transformed itself into a major European power and the force behind the creation of the German empWinner of the Wolfson History Prize, Christopher Clark s Iron Kingdom The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600 1947 is a compelling account of a country that played a pivotal role in Europe s fortunes and fundamentally shaped our world.Prussia began as a medieval backwater, but transformed itself into a major European power and the force behind the creation of the German empire, until it was finally abolished by the Allies after the Second World War.With great flair and authority, Christopher Clark describes Prussia s great battles, dynastic marriages and astonishing reversals of fortune, its brilliant and charismatic leaders from the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg to Bismarck and Frederick the Great, the military machine and the progressive, enlightened values on which it was built.

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    About "Christopher Clark"

    1. Christopher Clark

      Christopher Munro Chris Clark is an Australian historian working in England.He was educated at Sydney Grammar School between 1972 and 1978, the University of Sydney where he studied History, and between 1985 and 1987 the Freie Universit t Berlin.He received his PhD at the University of Cambridge, having been a member of Pembroke College, Cambridge from 1987 to 1991 He is Professor in Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and since 1991 has been a Fellow of St Catharine s College where he is currently Director of Studies in History In 2003 Clark was appointed University Lecturer in Modern European History, and in 2006 Reader in Modern European History His Cambridge University professorship in history followed in 2008 In September 2014, he succeeded Richard J Evans as Regius Professor of History at Cambridge.

    658 thoughts on “Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947”

    1. One of the review blurbs on the back cover of Iron Kingdom reminds the reader that Prussia remains Europe's only extinct power, which I found startling upon further reflection; it is a fate similarly dealt out to Piedmont after its political leaders and monarchical house led the drive to reunify Italy, though, of course, that Alpine kingdom never came close to the level of being a major European player. However, one can at least still find the Piedmont name upon modern maps as a constituted Regi [...]


    2. Not history as the history of great men, not history as military history, not history from below but a magnificent, monumental, magisterial blend of all of those. A thoroughly modern history that takes into account areas such as education, attitudes to women and their role in society, collective memory, the symbolic portrayal of power through statuary and rituals, and constantly, throughout, the way that the idea of Prussiandom was shoehorned into service either as perfect role model or as bane [...]


    3. Prussia bearing down on mePressing down on you no man ask for Under Prussia - they burn a building down Hack a family in two Lay people on sheets It's the terror of knowing What this nation is about Watching some good junkers Screaming let me in Pray today - you rise higher Prussia is people - people in armies She been around Kicked my brains round the floor These are the days it rains but it never pours People in armiesPeople on sheets It's the terror of knowing What this country is about Watch [...]


    4. A very enjoyable and comprehensive history of the rise of Prussia and the Hohenzollern dynasty. A strong point is the final chapters on the afterlife of Prussia and its image in Weimar Germany and post-WWII politics of the major powers.There is not a lot of coverage of WWI, which is fine with me as during the centenary I’ve read some elsewhere (although I may have missed some if my phone Overdrive player turned back on after I dropped it in my purse; it’s a very long book and you might not n [...]


    5. I can't say I was filled with excitement at the prospect of reading a thousand page history of Prussia. The state was famed for its bureaucrats rather than its brilliant or bloodthirsty leaders. I approached the book more out of a sense of duty than anything else, a slight feeling of shame for having lived in Germany for over five years and yet not having much more of an understanding of its history beyond World War 2.But Clarke is a brilliant writer, fully able to express his fascination for th [...]


    6. Very interesting. For those that may not as have been as knowledgeable of Prussian history, this would be as good a place to start as any. I would say that that incudes me. I was not particularly aware of German history prior to WW2 until recent times and after reading a few books on subjects such as the reformation and the 30 Year War there is some very interesting reading to be had. This history of Prussia adds to that. The rise of a nation called Prussia, from a backwater called Brandenburg t [...]


    7. Iron Kingdom حصلت على هذا الكتاب من متجر قصر شارلوتنبرج في ضواحي برلين، كنت قد حظيت هذا الصيف بفرصة زيارة ألمانيا والطواف بين مدنها لثلاثة أسابيع، من فرانكفورت إلى هامبورغ فبرلين وحتى دريسدن، هذا غير المدن الصغيرة التي كنت أتوقف فيها لزيارة قصر هنا أو معلم هناك. كانت زيارة ألماني [...]


    8. Prussia – Land of MythsPrussia, the name alone already evokes a bunch of diverse, often contradictory associations. It makes you think of Frederick II, the philosopher-king, who is renowned for saying that everyone should seek heaven in his own fashion, of reformers like Stein and Hardenberg, who drew the necessary conclusions from shattering military defeats and created a more modern and efficient state, but also of the ludicrously pompous William II, of sabre-rattling, monocle-wearing, heel- [...]


    9. "To equate Hitler with Frederick the Great, and Nazi Germany with Prussia, is a ludicrous perversion of history. The idea that one of Europe’s most enlightened and gifted Monarchs prefigured one of the most repellent dictators in modern history is simply absurd."Those words of Prof. Clark on BBC 4's documentary "Frederick the Great and the Enigma of Prussia" was the trigger that led mo to this book. I was instantly captivated by the way Prof. Clark delivering his history lesson on said documen [...]


    10. -Punto de partida para el interesado en Prusia; nada más pero nada menos.-Género. Ensayo.Lo que nos cuenta. En el libro El reino de hierro (publicación original: Iron Kingdom, 2006) se ofrece un acercamiento a Prusia, desde que era un pequeño territorio en Brandenburgo hasta que es eliminada por decreto tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial, pasando por su crecimiento, posicionamiento como una potencia europea y “agente aglutinante” (incluso algo más) del Imperio Alemán.¿Quiere saber más de [...]


    11. Just how tenable is a modern state--a Great Power, in fact--if it refuses to conform to modern nationhood? Per Christopher Clark, the answer would would be "surprisingly so," though with roughly a trillion caveats. In a quick-reading narrative style that belies the mind-boggling mastery of a huge sweep of historical epochs and characters, Clark charts the uneasy path that early progenitors of the Prussian dynastic line took through the political and cultural battles of modernizing, maturing Euro [...]


    12. The name of Prussia has come to stand for many things, very few of them good. Stiff automans stomping in perfect formation through various military parades. In particular the values and mores ascribed to Prussia were seen as being the germ that led or at least enabled The Nazi horrors. The British military command in common with the other Allies were adamant in banning the very name, with the following quote being symptomatic,"Prussia has been a menace to European society for the past 200 years. [...]


    13. Two words: incredibly informative.would recommend to anyone who wants to get into the Prussian Empire and it's history.


    14. Prussia weighed heavily on the collective mind of Europe during the 19th and 20th Centuries. My history classes generally blamed the formation of Germany for throwing off the structure of international power in Europe and causing two World Wars. And at the end of WWII, the Western Allies also felt that 'Prussia' was behind Germany's warlike ways and redrew the map of Germany to get rid of the name. Nearly sixty years later, 'Prussia' still brings up stereotypes that lie at the root of current Ge [...]


    15. An extensive book about the rise of Prussia, maily focussing on cultural and religious aspectsThis book turned out to be a little bit different than I first expected. The book mainly focusses on the period of the Frederickian Kings and is mainly focussed on cultural and religious aspects of Prussian society. The wars that shaped the Prussian state are mentioned, but not in detail.The main problem that I had with this book was that it was to academic; therefore lacking in an overall readability t [...]


    16. Finnaly! A history book that does not see all of Prussian history throught the lens of Nazi Germany. Clark (the author) gives the most objective and thorough look at one of the most influential, and ignored, states in history. The book is not written as an apology or excuse of the World Wars, which little time is spent, but gives a complete contextual look at Prussian history covering the culture, politics, and forgein policy of this controversial state. Anyone interested in German history shoul [...]


    17. Prussia, contrary to what all of my friends think when I tell them about this book, is not me mispronouncing Russia. It was actually a real? Okay, it's hard to say what exactly Prussia was. First, confusingly enough, it was the Duchy of Brandenburg (always remember to pass your duchy on the left hand side kids), ruled by the Duke of Brandenburg who was an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, which actually had nothing to do with holiness or Romans. The role of an Elector was to vote for whatever Ha [...]


    18. Christopher Clark presents a history of Prussia from its beginning as Brandenburg up until its final legal dissolution after WWII. The actual temporal focus of the book is more limited, however, in that it focuses on Prussia up until German unification in 1871 following the Franco-Prussian war. This is broad history that focuses on political, economic, and military lines of argument -- primarily the first two, with sufficient materials on military developments as needed. This is not primarily a [...]


    19. Great overview, however brief it might be. Tends to be a little about Prussians, and not enough about Prussia at points, but has an amazing section on the 19th century, and a good precursor to WW1. Very well written.


    20. Thorough, comprehensive history of one of the most interesting military states in history, and its rise and fall over the centuries. Thick with detail.


    21. This outstanding book lives up to its reputation. It's easily the best and most engaging work of German history I've read to date, and one of the most solid works of history I've read as a whole. Clark exemplifies my ideal of historiography, telling a spellbinding story of great and terrible people without reducing history to a drama of princes and kings. And he succeeds in making the complicated story of one of the great centers of German civilization comprehensible. Highly recommended.


    22. Brightly written, dense and full of details that help to understand what and how happened during the evolution from Brandenburg to Prussia to Germany. I only give it 4 starts though due to the, sometimes, irrelevant stories of the day-by-day between Christians and Jews, or the lack of an exciting ending since we all know what happened when the book ends.Anyway, awesome book. Will try to read more from Clark again



    23. The history of Prussia has been written, and re-written many times, but this one probably nailed it. As an Australian, now working at Cambridge University, the author Christopher Clark has "no obligation (or temptation) either to lament or celebrate the Prussian record". Instead Clark "aims to understand all the forces that made, and unmade Prussia."The caricature of Prussia is more popular unfortunately, than the real thing according to Clark. As one contemporary put it, Prussia was not a state [...]


    24. As the Wolfson Prize is a very reliable barometer, it came as no surprise to me that the Iron Kingdom was an extremely good book. I enjoyed reading it greatly and came away feeling that I had acquired a much better understanding of Germany history because of it.North Americans have a great deal of trouble understanding European history because the European nations are amalgams of older nations and multiple ethnic groups. North American history was a roll-out that began on the Atlantic Ocean. The [...]


    25. I'm no reader of history to be honest. The only times I read about history was for purposes of passing an exam. But the reason I decided to read this was because of Hetalia. It's a japanese anime which my sister is obsessed with. She forced me to watch, I ended up watching some episodes and got curious. Her favourite character is Prussia, so while watching the anime, there's this historical reference and of course as a viewer you can't help but try to learn more about the reference. So while sea [...]


    26. Well I'm relieved I finally finished reading this. Despite a very interesting & good writing, it's still a heavy weight book to go through, especially for new German history reader. Midway I realized that I could've help myself more by making notes on the peopple & time frame, etc. But then perhaps I'll think of it more as a chore & won't even manage to finish. The notes will be helpful considering Clark's way of spiraling through the history, which is wonderful as it can cover more [...]


    27. The Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Fall of Prussia by Christopher Clark is something of a ponderable tome. I picked up the book from Audible back in February, and I have been listening to it off and on for some time. It was only in mid April that I could safely say I finished it. Even though I did not read it continuously, a powerful influence behind my delay in finishing it is the book’s immense length: 800 pages, which when read by Shaun Grindell came to about 28 1/2 hours.Even with its rather e [...]


    28. Prussia was an unlikely candidate to become a great power. Yet from the economically unpromising Brandenberg region, Prussia eventually established itself as a European power, ultimately coalescing the various states of Germany into a single, powerful nation. The question of how this took place is at the heart of Christopher Clark's book, a valuable survey of the three centuries of Prussia's rise, dominance, and eventual dissolution after World War II. It is a very Carlylean tale in his telling, [...]


    29. Iron Kingdom is an outstanding account of the state which, piece by piece, grew to become one of Europe's most powerful nations by 1914.Tracing its growth from a small German Electorate in 1600, through its acquisition of territory which saw it become a significant player in the European power game in the early nineteenth century to being the nation chiefly responsible for German unification in 1871 is a fascinating journey brilliantly written and painstakingly researched by Clark. German unific [...]


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