The Thirty Years War

By C.V. Wedgwood,

Book cover of The Thirty Years War

Book description

Europe in 1618 was riven between Protestants and Catholics, Bourbon and Hapsburg--as well as empires, kingdoms, and countless principalities. After angry Protestants tossed three representatives of the Holy Roman Empire out the window of the royal castle in Prague, world war spread from Bohemia with relentless abandon, drawing powers from…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Thirty Years War as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Wedgewood published this in 1938, on the cusp of World War II.

In many ways the disaster that was the Thirty Years war provided an allegory of what was to come. Many authors have tackled this subject since Wedgewood wrote, some far more massive than her 500 pages, but there’s a reason this one remains in print. Wedgewood wrote an eminently readable narrative that is as delightful to read as its subject is dreadful. She excelled at what narrative should provide: a sense of development, how a huge event happens from beginning to end, all while keeping the reader’s attention.…

From Laurence's list on premodern western warfare.

The late, great C.V. Wegwood was one of the masters of narrative history who—like her contemporary Barbara Tuchman—became a legend for weaving a bounty of facts into a brilliant page-turner. In this classic, she takes on what is perhaps Europe’s most infamously complicated war and succeeds with characteristic genius. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was many things: the culmination of Europe’s religious wars, a struggle for the heart of a continent, a clash of empires, a collapse of civilization, and, perhaps most poignantly, a sprawling nightmare that still haunts the German people. Wedgwood covers it all in a crisp, witty…

From Cormac's list on early modern European warfare.

The Thirty Years War is one of the most significant wars in world history that . . . pretty much nobody has ever heard of. It’s also one of the most complex, involving an intricate interleaving of geo-political gamesmanship, evolving personalities, religious dogmas, and military strategy and tactics that can leave even a committed scholar’s head spinning. Fortunately, Dame Wedgwood navigated this thicket expertly, tugging on each thread and laying them clear, making the story so utterly accessible that it’s still the gold-standard on the topic despite being originally published in the 1930’s. Much of the book’s success hinges on…

From Myke's list on narrative military history.

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