By Peter Pulzer
Germany, 1870-1945: Politics, State Formation, and War deals with the three attempts to build a German nation-state between 1871 and 1945, and the reasons for their failure. Haunted by the spectre of the abortive liberal-national revolution of 1848-49, German politicians sought a series of solutions, none of which found a constitutional consensus, and two of which ended in military disaster. Pulzer looks at the two solutions imposed from above, those of Bismarck and Hitler, and the stalled revolution from below, that of the Weimar Republic. He examines the external influences on Germany's political development, such as the European state system and the Versailles treaty of 1919, but the main focus is on the tension between democratic and authoritarian forces, the series of unsatisfactory constitutional compromises, the main institutions of government, and the emergence and influence of parties and interest groups.