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The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution

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Richard M Watt's book unfolds the story of 1918-19, the fateful year that saw the tragedy of Germany, soon to become the tragedy of Europe. In 1918 ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany - Versailles and the German Revolution

Overall customer rating: 4.500
rowan

A new Europe after WWI

by rowan on Mar 30, 2009

Mr. Watt's book is a very readable portrait of the mess Europe plunged into at the end of WWI. The departure of the German monarchs that gives it its title is described along with Central European turmoil, revolutions, counter-revolutions and the unsuccessful attempt to reach a final peace in Paris. As some other Watt books (not all), it conveys the feeling of living the events narrated in the book. I do recommend it to anyone interesting in the era that was so important for the future of Europe. Though far from an exhaustive study of each and every event in all the European countries, it is an excellent summary. For those interested in the upheaval in Germany, try this book along with "Failure of a revolution : Germany 1918-1919" by Sebastian Haffner, a more progressive account of events.

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Melitota

Versailles and the Conception of WWII

by Melitota on Jun 13, 2008

I originaly read this book in the early 1970's and many of its images have never left me. The utter chaos that descended upon the whole of central and eastern Europe after the Armistice is just mind boggling. Former soldiers freelancing as semi-stateless warlords to fight against Bolshevik sponsored "spontaneous" revolutions. Summary executions in the streets of Europe's greatest cities, back and forth coup d'etats, food riots and starvation were commonplace occurences. Mr. Watt weaves all these currents together in an exciting narrative of solid footnoted historical fact while also making coherent sense of all the many players and agendas driving the action. The detailed story begins with the collapse of the German army at the end of WWI and carries you forward through the establishment of the Weimar Republic. An extended epilogue outlines the later history of the Weimar Republic and its subversion by Hitler and the Nazi Party. There are few if any heroes in this book and those you find are tragic and often surprising. Most surprising of all is the relevance it still holds for understanding the many tribalistic fault lines that still plague much of eastern Europe. In many respects we are still reaping the whirlwind sown by the Versailles Treaty.

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