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Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race, from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie
With the biographer’s rare genius for expressing the essence of extraordinary lives, Massie brings to life a crowd of glittery figures: the single-minded Admiral von Tirpitz; the young, ambitious Winston Churchill; the ruthless, sycophantic Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow; Britain’s greatest twentieth-century foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey; and Jacky Fisher, the eccentric admiral who revolutionized the British navy and brought forth the first true battleship, the H.M.S. Dreadnought.
Their story, and the story of the era, filled with misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and events leading to unintended conclusions, unfolds like a Greek tragedy in this powerful narrative. Intimately human and dramatic, Dreadnought is history at its most riveting.
Praise for Dreadnought
Dreadnought is history in the grand manner, as most people prefer it: how people shaped, or were shaped by, events.”Time
“A classic [that] covers superbly a whole era . . . engrossing in its glittering gallery of characters.”Chicago Sun-Times
“[Told] on a grand scale . . . Massie [is] a master of historical portraiture and anecdotage.”The Wall Street Journal
“Brilliant on everything he writes about ships and the sea. It is Massie’s eye for detail that makes his nautical set pieces so marvelously evocative.”Los Angeles Times

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 14, 1992 – Massie's sweeping narrative centers around the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, highlighting this as one of the major tensions that led to WW I. Photos. ( Nov. )

Customer Reviews

Great book, missing pages...

A comprehensive study that never bores the reader. Unfortunately, almost every last page of the chapter is missing and that is a lot of missing pages.

Dreadful book not worthy of the author

After thoroughly enjoying Massie's books on Catherine and Peter the Great, I was really looking forward to Dreadnaught. But, the book rambles all over the place, is incoherent, and is basically two partial books stitched together unsuccessfully. I don't know what the author was smoking, but the editor should have insisted on a major rewrite of such a total mess of a book. There are some excellent chapters, to be sure, but after reading page after page about dreadnaughts and then jumping to a rehash of the Guns of August, I kept waiting for the role of dreadnaughts and the royal navy in the war to be explained. Never happened. Great author, but terrible book. What a disappointment. My guess is that the author got bored somewhere in the middle of writing and the book is living off his reputation from other, far better, books.

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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Oct 29, 1991
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 1040 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings