Thursday, October 16, 2014

[Book Review] Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie


Marilyn reviews DREADNOUGHT: BRITAIN, GERMANY, AND THE COMING OF THE GREAT WAR by Robert K. Massie (Random House, 1991)

Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War by Robert K. Massie was a good read on the political and military history of Great Britain and Germany before World War I, also known as the Great War. Robert Massie wrote an in-depth history of the rise of Germany and Great Britain’s reaction to the German nation’s alliances, acquisition of colonies, and development into a naval sea power. 

Robert K. Massie starts his work with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and the rise of Germany into a world power. The book also recounts the personal lives of Queen Victoria, her children, and grandchildren. Her son, Edward VII, and grandson, George V, would become kings of the United Kingdom. Another one of her grandsons would become Kaiser William II of Germany, while her daughters would marry the rulers of Europe.

Of interest to me were the personalities of the ambassadors, prime ministers, naval personnel, and king. I was intrigued by the choice of alliances between countries, the changing of their navies from sailing to coal-driven turbine Dreadnought ships, and Great Britain’s move from a policy of isolationism to forming alliances with countries in Europe. The depth of the secrecy of Germany’s alliances, which it continued to make and change in the later part of the 19th century, was a fact of which I was not aware. In the twentieth century came the emergence of the Dual Alliance and Triple Alliance and, as a result, the stage for World War I is set.

Marilyn, Central Library

Don't forget the World War I Monday Lecture Series taking place in the Memphis Room of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. 

The last two dates are October 20 and November 10, 2014. Call (901) 415-2742 for more information. 

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