If anyone is kind enough to read this review I think it only fair to state the following: I am not religious. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Welllllllllllllllllllllll...where to start with this book. Established in 1911, the AER is among the nation's oldest and most respected scholarly journals in economics. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. But then, the thesis of the book, well argued, makes one think - a great achievement when I only wanted to be entertained. Then, around the time of German unification, the grinding of the author's axe suddenly became ear splitting. Non-existent documentation, an overly familiar writing style, and blatant political bias plagued the account. Now Germany is reunited and its new capital is the old Prussian capital of Berlin, far beyond the Elbe, rather than Bonn in the west. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Shortest History of Germany: From Julius Caesar to Angela Merkel—A Retelling for Our Times. The Importance of History for Economic Development Nathan Nunn Department of Economics, Harvard University and NBER, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; email: nnunn@fas.harvard.edu Annu.Rev. Id have to disagree with the New European assessment, although add overconfident to the Observers characterisation and its pretty much spot-on. After having experienced the deepest recession since the second world war, in 2021 the Italian economy will begin a fragile economic recovery, but a return to pre-crisis levels is unlikely before 2024. I've noticed this when I've traced other region's history in total and I found surprising coincidences. Even in normal times, he would have given us much to talk about. This question has haunted Europe ever since Julius Caesar invented the Germani in 58 BC. As a work of historical fiction, the book gets a nudge upwards. Even then, the strategies used to make the desired point are anything but subtle. World War I began on July 28, 1914,when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.This seemingly small conflict between two countries spread rapidly:soon, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, and France were all drawninto the war, largely because they were involved in treaties thatobligated them to defend certain other nations. The American Economic Review is a general-interest economics journal. April 28th 2017 Germany’s economic freedom score is 73.5, making its economy the 27th freest in the 2020 Index. The West is in full retreat. With Brexit and the Trump victory, Germany is now the world’s pre-eminent liberal democracy, a role it never sought and appears ill-equipped to manage. A marvelously concise effort, especially compelling as Angela Merkel is set to step down in 2021, leaving an uncertain vacuum in Europe." This was an impulse buy, and I’m a bit of a sucker for short histories (let alone “the shortest history” - how could I resist?). I came to it at a time when I finished a big project and was undecided if I wanted to commit to any serious study. This book is dishonest history. In 2017, Germany's GDP growth rate was 2.4% better than it had been in the previous year. If you were trying to determine whether a random German voter from 1928 would back Hitler by 1933, asking whether they were rich or poor, proletarian or bourgeois, urban or rural, man or woman would scarcely help you. Indeed, many things are glossed over, the shortness of the book surely necessitated it, and the German romanticism and philosophy are a passing presence. From the Kremlin, Tsar Vladimir watches his Great Game line up, while the Baltic and Vizegrad states shiver. I was looking for informational history books of kings-and-things variety. But the export-dependent economy has been hit hard by the slowdown in global demand, while structural challenges are looming in the medium term. “The Shortest History of Germany, a new, must-read book by the writer James Hawes, [recounts] how the so-called limes separating Roman Germany from non-Roman Germany has remained a formative distinction throughout the post-ancient history of the German people.”—Economist.com Problematic to say the least. Every last one of their victories was in Lutheran Prussia, Saxony and Hesse. But this turned out to be that and more: A little book with a big thesis (or two). online. Well, I see that there are many very angry one star reviews for this book on Goodreads, from those who are outraged that there is neither bibliography, footnotes nor academic references for it, but surely, written by an author who is also a university lecturer, it’s clear that Hawes is not aiming for it to be taken as an academic work? The Anglo-Saxon powers, great and small, withdraw into fantasies of lost greatness. It's lower than the $53,129 enjoyed in the United States and less than the European Union overall at $36,593. John Conway and Alexander Soifer submitted a paper in 20… This short book surprised me. To the casual observer, todays Germany is impressive for its economic and political clout. The Treaty of Verdun, which managed the partition, simply assigned Louis “everything beyond the Rhine”. The presentation of Russia is rather stereotypical, and that of Britain too. The author needs to return to writing fiction and refrain from non-fiction unless he plans to document his work and ignore his own biases. In a small book such as this, one expects superficial treatment; however, the author's biases seem to drive what he glosses over and what he treats more in-depth. The Shortest History of Germany book. The Sh**test History of Germany paints with a very broad brush, and presents a particular view that is more of a personal thesis than a history. – has a frightening urgency. Current Issue Vol. But this turned out to be that and more: A little book with a big thesis (or two). I really liked how history was traced from the beginning (ie Bronze Age, pre Roman encounters) all the way to the Present. As a result, the German mark began to stabilize, and Germany was able to pay on time for a short while. They pursued a millennial fantasy of an empire over the Slavs and remained determined to waste troops in the east, who might have resisted the victorious allied advance from the west in 1918. It answered many questions for me and piqued my curiosity to learn more! I found this quite interesting. See 1 question about The Shortest History of Germany…, Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics, Bill Gates Picks 5 Good Books for a Lousy Year. Yes, I found it fascinating and readable. Ununited Germany. It is based on some crazy idea of the author and I am wondering how could a publisher decided that it was worthy. Cologne, Stuttgart, Vienna, Bonn, Mainz and Frankfurt, all the greatest cities of the future West Germany and Austria, with the exception of Hamburg, grew up within or in the immediate shadow of Rome’s western empire. By clever use of diagrams and illustrations, I learned a lot about the broad sweep of Germany's history and was relishing the narrative. China Economic Review. In AD843, Charlemagne’s grandsons divided his empire like mafia bosses parcelling out territory. Joschka Fischer, Germany’s first Green party foreign minister, reacted to Trump’s election by wondering if there was a west left. I do not claim to be an expert, but do have sufficient knowledge both of history and current affairs to justify this review. Read 418 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The Shortest History of Germany: From Julius Caesar to Angela Merkel—A Retelling for Our Times - Kindle edition by Hawes, James. This is a short history of Africa excluding Egypt, Ethiopia and (Dutch and British) South Africa, which are the subjects of separate histories. I speak German. if your interest in history or simply curious about German history, this is the book to go. “The Shortest History of Germany, a new, must-read book by the writer James Hawes, [recounts] how the so-called limes separating Roman Germany from non-Roman Germany has remained a formative distinction throughout the post-ancient history of the German people.”—Economist.com What Hawes has to say about Hegel and Marx is pure nonsense, and it seems a little too neat that we can simply blame Protestantism for the. In the Reformation, all of the Germany that remained Catholic lay within Charlemagne’s Frankish kingdom. The Observer calls it “sweeping and confident” and the New European calls it “authoritative.” I’d have to disagree with the New European assessment, although add “overconfident” to the Observer’s characterisation and it’s pretty much spot-on. “Europe is far too weak and divided to stand in for the US strategically,” he said. Populists all over Europe cry out that immigration and globalisation are the work of a nefarious System, run by unseen masters with no national loyalties. Something that should be said from the start: Hawes is not a historian, his work was not endorsed by historians, and it falls behind even the normally low standards of history books written for the general public. 129–146. This is one of the books that show that history, unlike many of us experienced in school, doesn't have to be dry and boring. Hawes' argument basically comes down to this: everyone and everything east of Elbe is rubbish and to blame for all the disasters of 19th-21st century. Even then, the strategies used to make the desired point are anything but subtle. The Nazis’ strongholds were, once again, in the Lutheran east rather than the Roman west. We should worry that reunification has re-established a truncated version of the Prussian empire and that Christian Democrats will one day ally with the eastern far right or social democrats with the eastern far left. This is a swoop over 2,000 years of history that can be read in a couple of hours. Some parts are brushed over rather lightly making it hard to understand exactly what is going on, but with the brevity, you don't get bogged down in the detail. The West is in full retreat. The book's index was not included in the version I read. To see what your friends thought of this book. In my view, the book is a mix of a personal and biased thesis of the author and the bits of history that are most convenient to support it. Then, around the time of German unification, the grinding of the author's axe suddenly became ear splitting. Supports open access. I don’t tend to read much non-fiction, but as this was one of Waterstones ‘books of the month’ and Germany is one of my favourite countries that I’ve visited - this book was an instant purchase. Finally understood what Prussia was. His book The Shortest History of Germany (Old St.) was published in May 2017. The German Chamber of Deputies accepted the plan on August 27, 1924. He knew, too, that at its heart were territories that were now Catholic lands and had once been part of the Roman empire. 4 CiteScore. German economist Walter Eucken is … “The Shortest History of Germany, a new, must-read book by the writer James Hawes, [recounts] how the so-called limes separating Roman Germany from non-Roman Germany has remained a formative distinction throughout the post-ancient history of the German people.”—Economist.com He has produced a string of satires of modern Britain. For most of the two millennia that Central Europe has been inhabited by German-speaking peoples, such as the Eastern Franks, the area now called Germany was divided into hundreds of states, many quite small, including duchies, principalities, free cities, and ecclesiastical states. View aims and scope. It helped put Germany in perspective, right up to the present moment in its politics. The Shortest History of Germany review – probing an enigma at the heart of Europe. Economic thought goes as far back as the ancient Greeks and is known to have been an important topic in the ancient Middle East. It started off promisingly enough, sketching out a picture of the Roman interactions with the peoples of Germania, and proceeding from there, keeping in mind the boundaries at the Roman time as a template through which to remember what passed before. Louis knew where his kingdom began – Germany began at the Rhine, of course. Explore journal content Latest issue Articles in press Article collections All … Sitting at the heart of the European Union, Germany has shown moral leadership over the refugee crisis, and although its approach to enforcing austerity on weaker eurozone members has been criticised, it is increasingly regarded (post-Trump) as the guardian of a liberal, democratic world order. Was going to give this only one star… but then I reminded myself that Hawes is primarily an author of fiction. In a small book such as this, one expects superficial treatment; however, the author's biases seem to drive what he glosses over and what he treats more in-depth. Yet at the same time as writing comic novels, he has produced a learned study of Kafka and now this bracingly provocative history of Germany. This is not an history book, it is propaganda. To some extent, that is really true of all histories, especially pop histories. The Limes Germanicus never faded away. by Old Street Publishing. Germany might have won the first world war, but it was not enough for Ludendorff and the Prussian generals to beat Russia and see the Bolsheviks installed. To me, the book has three layers on which it can be appreciated: I had very mixed thoughts on this book. It’s good to get an overview of German history, but take it all with a grain of salt. The trouble is that no one today can say what “the west” is. German knowhow set to play leading role in coronavirus fight Innovative backbone of country’s economy well-placed to reap benefits of vaccine breakthrough Save What Hawes has to say about Hegel and Marx is pure nonsense, and it seems a little too neat that we can simply blame Protestantism for the sins of what we now know as “Germany.” The strength of the book is how it underscores how contingent Germany is as a country, and how difficult/problematic/arbitrary it is to speak of nation-states in the context of German-speaking Europe. --Kirkus Reviews "In this 'shortest history, ' Hawes conquers the dense task of recounting the story of the land and people of what is now Germany over the last two millennia . Louis received the land we were to later call. . But math can also be short. Under this plan the total sum owed by Germany would remain the same, but the yearly payments were reduced, and Germany was granted a loan. 110, No. The industrious provinces of western and southern Germany provided the funds for the Prussian state and military and tax breaks for Junker aristocrats. When I bought the book after reading the title and the reviews of reputable institutions, I thought it would be a proper history, and not a divisive and incomplete interpretation. Editor-in-Chief: Xiaobo Zhang. I have a sound grasp of it from the Weimar Republic up until the fall of the Berlin Wall, and have studied the period between 1914 and 1945 intensively, but I knew very little about earlier eras. It started off promisingly enough, sketching out a picture of the Roman interactions with the peoples of Germania, and proceeding from there, keeping in mind the boundaries at the Roman time as a template through which to remember what passed before. Math can be hard and tedious resulting in very long papers. A large part of it had been in the Roman empire, lying behind the Limes Germanicus, the great wall the Romans built to keep out the barbarians to the east. Problematic to say the least. The main argument is based on a distinction between cultural "West Germans" who are descended from those tribes which were under the power of the Roman Empire, and "East Germans" who were never 'civilized'. I came to it at a time when I finished a big project and was undecided if I wanted to commit to any serious study. The theory advanced that modern Germany is really a fusion of two separate cultures that have kept experiencing different developmental pressures is interesting and not one I'd heard before. Disappointment set in almost from the moment I opened the book. Start by marking “The Shortest History of Germany” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Germany has the strongest system of co-determination in Europe, and it is a defining feature of its economy, the biggest in Europe. Edited By: Almut Balleer, Jesus Crespo-Cuaresma, Peter Egger, Mario Larch, Jean-Marie Lozachmeur, Aderonke Osikominu, Georg Wamser, Christine Zulehner. The author equates Germany's western and southern reaches to a utopia of good. View aims and scope Submit your article Guide for authors. As a reference text for sorting out dates and chronology over the span of approximately 2,500 years in a mere 227 pages, I think it does a pretty good job. The Observer calls it sweeping and confident and the New European calls it authoritative. Non-existent documentation, an overly familiar writing style, and blatant political bias plagued the account. The lack of a bibliography and rigorous referencing is especially concerning considering the fact that the book essentially turns into a 200 page spiel on the evilness of East Germany. A great book about a very interesting topic. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published It is interesting because then you can see certain themes emerge. Especially short ones. 2019 Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics): 275/373 (Economics) Online ISSN: 1468-0475 Accessed 22 Sept. 2020. I bought it as a Kindle edition, I genuinely thought it was going to be a short bite-sized book that I could use to brush up on my Germany history. But are the Germans really us, or them? The first recognisable forerunners of the Nazis stood as explicitly antisemitic candidates in 1893 elections and won 16 Reichstag seats. It left open the question of where “everything” stopped. The western world as virtually everyone alive has known it will certainly perish before our eyes.”. To bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846 - that geography is destiny - but greatly! Hard by the slowdown in global demand, while the Baltic and Vizegrad States shiver only 17 of! 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