A gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race, from Pulitzer Prize winner. Dreadnought is ostensibly about the relationship between Germany and Britain in the years before the First World War, with a focus on the naval arms race. Here, as with his Pulitzer Prize-winning Peter the Great (), Massie disdains the virtues of literary economy.

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When he resumed, his eyes were filled with tears.

Robert K. Massie

In fact, I think a shorter book would have had a stronger impact, because the sheer, massive amount of details blunts the reader’s ability to appreciate just how much tension was created by the naval arms race between England and Germany. Description A gripping chronicle of the personal and political rivalries from the birth of Queen Victoria to the unification of Germany during the decades leading up to WW1 from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K.

Before that we are treated with a history of Germany and Britain from the Napoleonic wars but with an emphasis to the period from Wilhelm II oldest grandson of Victoria ascended the throne of Imperial Germany and his relationships with his grandmother and more generally British family; also the British Imperial history of the late ‘s and early ‘s is treated and the confrontation at Constantinople between the Russian army camped near the city and the British fleet in the Golden Horn, the Fashoda incident, the Boer war.

A very, very poignant scene to end a superb narrative. As I hinted above, you’ll also find charming biographic sketches of a huge cast of characters.


Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie

The bulk of this book and oh, what a bulk is hopelessly entangled in the pedantries of political harrumphing: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Jan 29, Sally rated it liked it. The set pieces – the naval review of Junethe Jameson Raid, Maszie Kaiser’s visit to Windsor, Winston Churchill visiting the fleet, “the spring of the panther” – are dramatically recreated.


Dreadnought dreadnohght completely ignores economic and social history.

Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War

Not for nothing have dreadnougyt prior reviewers noted that the title of this book that follows the colon — “Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War” is key to the book’s sweep, not just naval armament.

Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. And only once in the entire volume does Massie step away from simple descriptive narrative: There was a problem filtering reviews right now. He’s engaging and eloquent. It does not tell the neatly wrapped story of the origins of WWI, nor does it focus exclusively on the naval armaments race between the British and German empires. Fascinating book, if you like pages of looming catastrophe, dreadnlught I do.

Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. He “[s]moked fourteen cigars a day, drank beer in the afternooons, kept two large goblets – one for champagne, the other for port – at hand during meals, and tried to find sleep at night by drinking a bottle of champagne Dreadnought is ostensibly about the relationship between Germany and Britain in the years before the First World War, with a focus on the naval arms race between them.

Well, I’ve thrown in the ddeadnought. He was president of the Authors Guild from to The personalities are every bit as vivid and well-drawn as in his Nicholas and Alexandra or his Peter the Great: Attempts — involving chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, Ballin, successive German ambassadors to Britain, and a mission by Haldane to Berlin — to dreadnougut the ship-building race proved fruitless, but the war dreadnught probably inevitable anyway.


Jackie Fisher, by the way, is an absolutely fascinating character.

Given that, his focus on Germany and England makes a bit more sense as they were the two countries at the time most capable of exerting naval pressure.

Bismarck once quipped that if the British Army ever came ashore on the coast of Prussia he would leave it to the local police to round them up. Robert Kinloch Massie, who suffers from hemophilia, a hereditary disease deradnought also afflicted the last Tsar’s son, Alexei.

Massey takes you onto the steel decks of late 19th century warships as they patrol beneath the sizzling sun of far off ports. Dreadnoughts, takes you right up to the door step of that change. Massie’s writing style is clear, and he organizes huge themes and complex topics in ways that are understandable to the non-specialized reader.

Hudson rated it really liked it. Since Nelson and Trafalgar, the Royal Navy had ruled the waves.

Massie has written a richly textured and gripping chronicle of the personal and national rivalries that led to the twentieth century’s first great arms race. This inevitably brought him in turn into conflict with the governments of his grandmother, uncle Edward VIIand cousin George V.

His Life and World. We all learn in school about the myriad entangling alliances, in which a number of triggers built into a series of treaties flipped one by one, like a perverse game of dominoes.