This final volume of John Rhl's acclaimed biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II reveals the Kaiser's central role in the origins of the First World War. The book examines the Kaiser's part in the Boer War, the Russo-Japanese War, the naval arms race with Britain and Germany's rivalry with the United States as well as in the crises over Morocco, Bosnia and Agadir. It also sheds new light on the public scandals which accompanied his reign from the allegations of homosexuality made against his intimate friends to the Daily Telegraph Affair. Above all, John Rhl scrutinises the mounting tension between Germany and Britain and the increasing pressure the Kaiser exerted on his Austro-Hungarian ally from 1912 onwards to resolve the Serbian problem. Following Germany's defeat and Wilhelm's enforced abdication, he charts the Kaiser's bitter experience of exile in Holland and his frustrated hopes that Hitler would restore him to the throne.

Wilhelm II - John C. G. Rhl

9780521844314
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Title
Wilhelm II - into the abyss of war and exile 1900-1941
Author
John C. G. Rhl
format
Hardback
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20140206

This final volume of John Rhl's acclaimed biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II reveals the Kaiser's central role in the origins of the First World War. The book examines the Kaiser's part in the Boer War, the Russo-Japanese War, the naval arms race with Britain and Germany's rivalry with the United States as well as in the crises over Morocco, Bosnia and Agadir. It also sheds new light on the public scandals which accompanied his reign from the allegations of homosexuality made against his intimate friends to the Daily Telegraph Affair. Above all, John Rhl scrutinises the mounting tension between Germany and Britain and the increasing pressure the Kaiser exerted on his Austro-Hungarian ally from 1912 onwards to resolve the Serbian problem. Following Germany's defeat and Wilhelm's enforced abdication, he charts the Kaiser's bitter experience of exile in Holland and his frustrated hopes that Hitler would restore him to the throne.

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John C. G. Rhl is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sussex. His many previous publications include The Kaiser and his Court (1994) which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize as well as the two previous volumes of his biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II - Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888 (Cambridge, 1998) and Wilhelm II: The Kaiser's Personal Monarchy, 1888-1900 (Cambridge, 2004), which have won the Einhard Prize for the biography of a major European figure in 2012.

'A masterpiece and one of the greatest political biographies of our times.' Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Times

'The single most important recent contribution to the debate on the causes of the First World War.' BBC History Magazine

'One of the outstanding biographies of the past twenty years.' Philip Mansel, The Spectator

'A powerful and impressive thesis.' Jonathan Sperber, The Times Literary Supplement

'Devastating.' Norman Stone, Literary Review

'Magisterial is the only word that adequately describes Rhl's final installment of his authoritative biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II. This massive tome examines in a most engaging way the personal role the Kaiser played in facilitating the major political and diplomatic crises leading to the Great War … Highly recommended.' M. A. Mengerink, Choice

'Reviewers of Rhl's work will ?nd it difficult to avoid echoing each other: adjectives such as 'monumental' and 'de?nitive' are well-nigh inescapable in the face of this enormous achievement … Future researchers with an interest in any aspect of the Kaiser's life or his role in the government of Imperial Germany will ?nd Rhl an indispensable guide to the documentary record.' Andrew G. Bonnell, European History Quarterly

'This book is the final instalment of John Rhl's exhaustive and magisterial three-volume biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Like the two preceding parts, this volume is meticulously researched, full of new insights, beautifully written and, notwithstanding its great length and substantial weight, difficult to put down. Taken either on its own or as the culmination of a trilogy, it is a monumental achievement…This is an outstanding work. So much new research and scholarship has gone into completing it that it is difficult to imagine what other new documents might be out there waiting to be unearthed that would materially add to what Rhl has written. Equally, with this volume and its two predecessors in the public domain it is hard to see why anyone else would attempt a new study of Wilhelm II. While no work of history ever has the final word, surely this is as close to definitive as a biography can get.' Matthew S. Seligmann, The English Historical Review

'Scholars of the period owe a great debt to Rhl. Whether, in the final analysis, one agrees with his reading of Wilhelm, Rhl has redirected attention to the importance of human agency in history. In tandem, he has also liberated his subject both from being a caricature, a cardboard cutout knave, and from the less-than-benign neglect of those with structuralist predilections.' T. G. Otte, The Journal of Modern History

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Germany - Politics and government - 1888-1918.|Germany - History - William I, 1871-1888.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
xxix, 1562

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