St. John’s Men’s Book Group will meet Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 pm to discuss Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire, 1871-1918 by Ktja Hoyer.
In Blood and Iron, Hoyer provides a sweeping, succinct history of the second German Reich. She explains that this Empire was forged out of a patchwork of 39 rival Catholic and Protestant states by a brilliant statesman, Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck knew that these states could not be unified absent a threat to their existence. So he deftly engineered a war with their historic enemy, France. The plan succeeded brilliantly. The German states crush France in 1871, and a unified German state is born. Hoyer tells us that Bismarck thereafter focused primarily on internal actions to unite these disparate peoples. But, when the vain, glory-seeking Kaiser Wilhelm II succeeds to the throne, Bismarck is forced out and Germany begins to pursue a bellicose strategy that eventually brings the world closer to world war.
The meeting will be hybrid–both in-person and online. Please contact Earle O’Donnell for metting details. Newcomers are always welcome.