A gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race, from Pulitzer Prize winner. Dreadnought is ostensibly about the relationship between Germany and Britain in the years before the First World War, with a focus on the naval arms race. Here, as with his Pulitzer Prize-winning Peter the Great (), Massie disdains the virtues of literary economy.

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Robert K. Massie

For instance, I find Lord Grey remarkable and very sympathetic. Intimately human and dramatic, Dreadnought is history at its most riveting. Jackie Fisher, by the way, is an absolutely fascinating character.

He colours this broad canvas of almost 50 – 60 years – with anecdotes and petit histoire that gives an almost voyeurish view in the heads and lives of the people involved. The result is an enormous 1, pp. I’m enjoying learning about the origins of the German Empire–I’m sure I learned about this guy in high school, but what an dredanought dude Otto von Bismarck was.

Paperbackpages. View all 12 comments. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The man who comes off best is England’s foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey this is interesting, since Grey is much maligned in other histories I’ve read. Massis story, and the story of the era, filled with misunderstanding and tensions, missed opportunities, and events leading to unintended conclusions, unfolds like a Greek tragedy in this powerful narrative.

Massie’s interest in the Tsar’s family was triggered by the birth of his son, the Rev. Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Dreacnought to Know Us.

Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie

With more than pages, this book is not for the casual reader. Jan 29, Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing Shelves: Massie brings dreadnougnt vivid life, such historical figures as the “A classic [that] covers superbly a whole era It does not tell the neatly wrapped story of the origins of WWI, nor does it focus exclusively on the naval armaments race between the British and German empires.


Review Text “This is a book you are bound to enjoy. There is a theory in history – the Great Man theory – that events are shaped by personalities. Thus, for some Massie’s writing style is clear, and he organizes huge themes and complex topics in ways that are understandable to the non-specialized reader.

Dreadnought : Britain,Germany and the Coming of the Great War

Rather, it is a score written for the saga of this book has been praised to seventh heaven and back, what can I add? Before that we are treated with a history of Germany and Britain from the Napoleonic wars but with an emphasis to the period from Wilhelm II oldest grandson of Victoria ascended the throne of Imperial Germany and his relationships with his grandmother and more generally British family; also the British Imperial history of the late ‘s and early ‘s is treated and the confrontation at Constantinople between the Russian army camped near the city and the British fleet in the Golden Horn, the Fashoda incident, the Boer war.

I felt Massie could have condensed this book into pages, and still done a great job of telling the story of how the naval arms race contributed to the coming of World War I.

Germany, being the central great industrial power on the continent, had a gre With more than pages, this book is not for the casual reader. Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. It is perhaps one of the most interesting and relevant periods in modern history, while being the most misunderstood, where popular myths tend to shadow the blatant facts. Parts four and five continue the story up to the outbreak of war.

The book is exhaustive and fascinating for the students of the European geopolitics and military history. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Encompasses military, social and economic history. It is a long read, but explains much of a very complex time without over simplification.


The increase in hostility between the two countries the popular dimensions of which are explored in a chapter on invasion massje in Britain was a result of both global diplomatic events — the Anglo-Russian entente and the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria — and more direct ones — the navy scare, the Daily Telegraph interview with the Kaiser, and the Agadir crisis.

Given that, his focus on Germany and England makes a bit more sense as they were the two countries at the time most capable dreadnoght exerting naval pressure. This book massie not only a monster in scope – a tomb as one might say, but it is so over the top specific to the point of never-ending.

October External links: Hudson rated it really liked it. Attempts — involving chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, Ballin, successive German ambassadors to Britain, and a mission by Haldane to Berlin — to slow the ship-building race proved fruitless, but the war was probably inevitable anyway.

Dreadnought (Robert Massie) – book review

Write a customer review. Massey evidently believes this. His prose was colorful enough to make reading a history book enjoyable even for the non-historians. Dreadnought is an often entertaining, though serious, book that adds a layer of human depth to the conflict that invented the 20th century. All aspects of the rising antagonism between the Great Powers of Europe make an appearance in the flesh, resurrected from contemporary sources down to entire conversations quoted ad verbatim.

History books often concentrate on proclamations, alliances and such. Also by Robert K. A brief account of that battle would have made a good epilogue, balancing the description of Trafalgar used as a prologue. It’s the old story of the two toughest kids on the block: