Christopher Clark's Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power is a short, fascinating and accessible biography of one of the 20th century's most important figures.
King of Prussia, German Emperor, war leader and defeated exile, Kaiser Wilhelm II was one of the most important - and most controversial - figures in the history of twentieth-century Europe. But how much power did he really have?
Christopher Clark, winner of the Wolfson prize for his history of Prussia, Iron Kingdom, follows Kaiser Wilhelm's political career from his youth at the Hohenzollern court through the turbulent decades of the Wilhelmine era into global war and the collapse of Germany in 1918, to his last days. He asks: what was his true role in the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War? What was the nature and extent of his control? What were his political goals and his success in achieving them? How did he project authority and exercise influence? And how did his people really view him?
Through original research, Clark presents a fresh new interpretation of this contentious figure, focusing on how his thirty-year reign from 1888 to 1918 affected Germany, and the rest of Europe, for years to come.
Christopher Clark is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He is the author of The Politics of Conversion, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Iron Kingdom. Widely praised around the world, Iron Kingdom became a major bestseller. He has been awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Sleepwalkers was shortlisted for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and finalist for the Mark Lynton History Prize, and is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, French Prix Aujourd¹hui, Cundill Recognition of Excellence Prize, Bruno Kreisky Prize for Political Literature and the Braunschweiger Geschichtspreis.