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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Eventually, King Edward appeared and, walking so briskly that massid lost his breath, inspected the hussars. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews.

Dreadnought : Robert K. Massie :

Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: A really fine history. Ballantine Books; Reprint edition September 15, Language: Well-known tableaux such as the funeral of Edward VII which opened for the Guns of August and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary printed to death are joined by episodes that usually warrant scant lines, even tough they are each marked as stepstones on the road to the outbreak of war: Preview dreacnought Dreadnought by Robert K.

So enjoy the book, but be prepared massoe skim over some parts.

Though the book does get bogged down from time to time in litanies of ship tonnage and gunnery, it makes up for it with an equally amusing chapter about the eccentric captains of the Royal Navy. The first occurred as the King’s train reached [the frontier], where a military band and a regiment of hussars were drawn up. October External links: The First World War.

View all 12 comments. The deeper social trends, how the experiences and views dreaenought the “unwashed masses” may have influenced events is simply not within his area of interest.

Not only are we introduced to the details of the original draednought race, but we get short biographic snapshots of the leading figures on both sides, both on the military and especially the political side.


Massie finishes with an account of the London conference and the final progress of events in Berlin and London leading up to the British declaration of war, where Dreadnought comes to a tantalising end. Hudson rated it really liked it. When the royal train pulled into the station, the King was unready; the train had crossed into a different time zone and his value, having failed to adjust his watch, had not laid out His Majesty’s uniform.

This knowledge prepared them for four long years at sea during the Great War. Intimately human and dramatic, Dreadnought is history at its most riveting.

Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie

Going back to the formation of the modern German state in the ss, Britain was forced to make a decision. 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.

Despite the special emphasis he places on the role of sea power, the book doesn’t avoid relevant discussions of larger issues he, as the author is really driving at the myriad factors that conspired to bring about the conflict: English Choose a language for shopping.

Dreadnought almost completely ignores economic and social history. The naval arms race between Britain and Germany is the common thread around which Massie brilliantly weaves the story of the relationship between Britain and Germany as well as the personalities involved. Mar 16, Dirk Verhulst rated it it was amazing Shelves: Largely cobbled together by Bismarck in the mid-to-late 19th century with Prussia as the underlying framework, the Empire consisted of over two dozen states replete with princes and kings.

See all reviews. An excellent and in depth read which covers the lead up to the Great War with a specific naval edge. The early life of Churchill and the events following the murder of Franz Ferdinand are also good. In my estimations this is one of the best naval books written about this crucial period.

There’s too much logistics, too much tangled statecraft, and Massie’s forte has always been the portrayal o Only sporadically do we see flashes of Massie’s wonted brilliance. Thanks for telling us about the problem.


The wealth of characters and anecdotes in this story is much to behold. I don’t read a lot of history, but when I do I want it to matter. Although I am not a historian, I felt that Mr.

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

Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. InRobert Massie and his then-wife Suzanne chronicled their experiences as the parents of a hemophiliac child and the significant differences between the American and French health-care systems in their jointly-written book, Journey.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. It goes far beyond a military or naval history; it is really a political and foreign policy history. His Life and World. I devour with pleasure each book he has written. Massie highlights the diplomatic ruptures with Germany — over the Jameson raid and the Krueger telegram, Samoa, the Boer war and the Boxer rebellion — and their culmination in the breakdown of Chamberlain’s tentative Anglo-German alliance vreadnought, the creation of the Anglo-French entente despite the dispute over Fashodaand its first test during the Morocco crisis.

It introduced me to kings and queens and the dreadnpught that, in some cases, had a larger role than I had been taught in shaping Europe. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.


When [Bismarck] complained of an upset stomach, [his wife] calmed him with foie gras. It will come as a huge surprise how much effort was committed to stop the ball from rolling and dreadnoight much personal despair the final outcome caused to those involved once they realized that nothing could stop the events from unfolding.

When King Edward visited Germany in”[t]he visit was plagued by mishaps. A huge cast of characters from history was introduced to me, some familiar and some not known to me before reading this.