Bashicage He lives in Irvington, New York show more. The bulk of it, however, consists of narrative accounts of the major political and diplomatic events in the two countries, mostly presented through biographical sketches of their politicians, diplomats and admirals. Please try again later. Admittedly, there is some overlap between history and biography, because a good biography will include details of the historical setting of the person whose life a biographer is writing about, and vice versa. Preview — Dreadnought by Robert K. While nations of Europe sung as they marched to the slaughterhouse, most politicians wept.
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Shelves: world-war-i , maritime-history Dreadnought is the story of the naval arms race between England and Germany leading up to World War I. Now, anyone who has taken the time to think about World War I knows that it is a nearly-intractable subject when it comes its genesis. We all learn in school about the myriad entangling alliances, in which a number of triggers built into a series of treaties flipped one by one, like a perverse game of dominoes.
Or something like that. We know the mechanics. The "how. Massey has been criticized as a historian. Typical PhD pissing contest, I suppose. I love him, and I love his books. Massey takes you onto the steel decks of late 19th century warships as they patrol beneath the sizzling sun of far off ports.
He brings to life forgotten events, like the Kruger Telegram and the Jameson raid. More than anything else, though, he is a master biographer. There is a theory in history - the Great Man theory - that events are shaped by personalities. Massey evidently believes this. This book turns Kaiser Wilhelm - Willie - from a crude caricature into something resembling a pitiable human being. The personalities pop off the page; you know them so well you start to root for them to succeed.
Grey is most famous for his ominous words on the eve of the First World War. As described by Massey: [Grey:] stopped for a moment, struggling for words. When he resumed, his eyes were filled with tears. I feel like a man who has wasted his life. It was then that the unpoetic Sir Edward Grey uttered the lines which memorably signaled the coming of the First World War. Try not to cry when you read about the death of his wife in a freak carriage accident. It reminds you that, despite what political scientists want you to believe, that the decisions of our world, big and small, are made by people laboring under the universal human condition.
My only problem: Massey is no Tom Clancy. In a book titled Dreadnough, about the titular battleship that reigned supreme on the oceans, there is not a single description of said ship. He throws some tonnage out, and the number of guns, but he never explains why this steel behemoth became so important - the nuclear weapons of the s.
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Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War