One of the most hotly disputed topics in twentieth-century history has been Germany’s share of responsibility—its “guilt”—for the outbreak of the two world wars. In this short, penetrating study, Europe’s leading authority on German power politics clarifies the dispute and offers insight into this central question about modern Germany.
Compelling… An important accomplishment for anyone with an interest in modern European history.
[A] masterpiece of historical interpretation… While innumerable works have analyzed the outbreak of both world wars in detail, these few pages present what most scholars regard as the last word on the question of German responsibility in each case…[and] shed considerable light on the entire course of German history. Thus all readers, whether specialties in the subject or not, can profit immensely from Hillgruber’s judicious assessment.
The force, cogency, and subtlety of Hillgruber’s presentation is matched only by his unexampled command of documentary materials… It is authoritative and compelling—a modern historical classic that should gain the highest esteem and widest public.
Andreas Hillgruber is Professor of History, University of Cologne.
William C. Kirby is Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration and T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University, as well as Chair of the Harvard China Fund and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai. His many books include Can China Lead? Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth.