Germany in the Twentieth Century

Germany in the Twentieth Century

Germany in the Twentieth Century

Germany in the Twentieth Century

Excerpt

I was very pleased when Batsford asked me to prepare a third edition of Germany Since 1918. However, after considering all that had happened in Germany since the appearance of the second edition in 1980 we decided something more was needed than just another chapter. In addition, as the century is drawing to a close, it seemed appropriate to sketch the developments over the whole 90 years or so. Germany Since 1918 has been transformed therefore into the present volume. In it I have tried to break new ground and give both the academic and the general reader as much information as possible in what is, considering the dramatic nine decades it covers, a relatively small book. I hope that chapter 1 goes some way to revising the widely held, wholly negative, view of pre-1914 Germany and will promote a more balanced image of a time when Germany and Britain (and the USA) were friends as well as rivals.

One innovation is a statistical section at the end cf the book and brief biographies of 152 Germans. I have tried to make this biographical list representative both of the different periods and, although this is primarily a political book, of Germans other than politicians who have become public figures. The limitations of space have forced me to leave out many other Germans equally deserving of attention. No doubt some of those included will lose their present significance with the passage of time.

Because Germany Since 1918 was so well received I have left much of the original material intact. However, I have made some amendments where new information has come to light and added new material where I felt there were gaps. Given the astonishing changes since 1989 and given Germany's growing role, it is natural that the book gives much attention to these last few years and to the contemporary situation. In a book like this errors are bound to creep in and, as in the past, I would be glad to hear from any reader who discovers any. Equally, I would be most pleased to hear from readers who have found the book useful.

I hope the book makes a small contribution to our understanding of the Germans, their achievements, trials and tragedies and to their successes over the past 45 years in building a democratic state in the new Europe.

David Childs
Nottingham, February 1991
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