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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of World War II, Prussia - a centuries-old state pivotal to Europe's development - ceased to exist. In their eagerness to erase all traces of the Third Reich from the earth, the Allies believed that Prussia, the very embodiment of German militarism, had to be abolished. But as Christopher Clark reveals in this pioneering history, Prussia's legacy is far more complex.

What we find is a kingdom that existed nearly half a millennium ago as a patchwork of territorial fragments, with neither significant resources nor a coherent culture. With its capital in Berlin, Prussia grew from being a small, poor, disregarded medieval state into one of the most vigorous and powerful nations in Europe. Iron Kingdom traces Prussia's involvement in the continent's foundational religious and political conflagrations: from the devastations of the Thirty Years' War through centuries of political machinations to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, from the enlightenment of Frederick the Great to the destructive conquests of Napoleon, and from the "iron and blood" policies of Bismarck to the creation of the German Empire in 1871 and all that implied for the tumultuous 20th century.

©2006 Christopher Clark (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hated the narration

I was continually annoyed by pronunciations used by the narrator. Where German names have English equivalents, the author chose to use the English versions (eg, William rather than Wilhelm), but the narrator bizarrely chose to give those English names a mock-German pronunciation (eg, Villiam). It took me a while to work out that "Kolonya" was a reference to Cologne. Route and clerk were given an American pronunciations even though the narrator is English. Courtier was given a French pronunciation, but I had to laugh when courtiers (plural) was also given a French pronunciation, but with an "s" sound tacked on the end. A real classic was Venetian, which sounded half way between the English word and the Italian Venizia. The stress within lots of words was randomly reassigned - straTEEgist, adJUdant. Some words gained syllables while others lost them. I don't speak German, but the pronunciation of some German words and names also sounded off - Hegel being pronounced HEEgal. This all detracted greatly from an otherwise interesting book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great book, easy to listen to, well written

great book, easy to listen to, well written and great narration. look forward to more from author and narrator

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Interesting... Alot of names and places.

What made the experience of listening to Iron Kingdom the most enjoyable?

Hearing a history of a people I did not know much about.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Iron Kingdom?

Description of the general populations during the times of war.

Any additional comments?

Very in depth - sometimes to in depth for me . LOL

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Avoided endless stories about world wars

This is a great book because it sticks to the topic: Prussia. It covers social issues and economic issues and is very interesting as to the development of Europe. Once Germany is formed Prussia becomes dominant and the nation turns in a giant barracks. There is discussion of the world wars but at 20,000 feet and the consequences of Prussian militarism become apparent. Highly recommended.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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If you are looking for a very detailed accounting of Prussian history this is it.

Very detailed. I think the paper copy would have been a better choice for the ability to annotate and reference. As an audio book it went a little too deep in to the minutiae for effective storytelling. I’ve reviewed the narrator before, and he has gotten better, but still so very breathy in his pronunciation and diction. Very very well researched book though.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Intellectually​ Honest and Clearly Written

This work is clean, massive, and source based: it is everything I look for in a work of history.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Overview

I thoroughly enjoyed this book both as a lesson in history and culture. Clark dives right in to the alliances and conflicts of the 17th century Holy Roman Empire. The first chapter is a bit of a whirlwind and I found myself reading articles in other publications to fill myself in on historical events discussed in this book so that I could keep up with the author. My patience and extra studies paid off though. The book is an excellent read, providing incites as to what defined Prussia as a state, and how it's place in history affect our understanding of the German people. I highly recommend this book.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic read

I really enjoyed this as it finally provided information on Prussia and it's curious disappearance from Europe.

Narrative stayed true to Prussian history and didn't get bogged down with military history that is important for Prussia's emergence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A sociological analysis

Rather than a linear history, the book analyzes Prussia's governance and society. Still interesting for that, though

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I Recommend This Great Book... (now that technical problem is fixed)

This book gives lots of context for the German Empire which helps explain the course of the Great War.

15 of 25 people found this review helpful