From the list on Bismarck and Imperial Germany.
Who am I?
I have been studying this period of German history for more than 40 years and teaching it at Manchester since 1991. I have no family connections to Germany, but I went on a school exchange to Hannover when I was 14 and became fascinated by the country and its history. I chose to do my PhD on this period because it seemed less researched than the Weimar and Nazi eras which followed. Contesting the German Empire was an attempt to show how historians’ views of Imperial Germany have changed over time, and to give a flavor of their arguments. Reading it will save you from having to digest 500 books yourself!
Matthew's book list on Bismarck and Imperial Germany
Why did Matthew love this book?
As the title suggests, Smith’s recent book is not about the imperial era alone, but it is an important and thought-provoking text for anyone with an interest in modern German history. I particularly admire the book’s erudition, breadth of scope, and bold ambition, which I know I could never match. The book makes impressive use of literary and visual sources (most notably a fascinating array of maps). As with any attempt at a ‘grand narrative,’ it is relatively easy to pick small holes in the argument, but there is no doubt that this is a book that will be read and discussed for many years to come.