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November 1918: The German Revolution Reviews

November 1918: The German Revolution by Robert Gerwarth (Professor of Modern History at UCD and Director of the Centre for War Studies)

November 1918: The German Revolution

Robert Gerwarth (Professor of Modern History at UCD and Director of the Centre for War Studies)

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11 Jul 2020
ISBN: 9780199546473

The story of an epochal event in German history, this is also the story of the most important revolution that you might never have heard of.

4 stars out of 5
Simon Heffer
27 Jun 2020

"a superlative piece of research into a sequence of events that are of immense importance"

Gerwarth’s scholarship cannot be faulted: he has combed primary and secondary sources for accounts of events in the defeated nation during the months after the Armistice. Occasionally his terminology is questionable – he casually uses the term “Right wing” when referring to people wedded to the old order, rather than those who would willingly embrace Hitler’s club of anti-Semites, thugs and nationalists – and he can be careless with facts that lie outside his specialism – Sir Rosslyn Wemyss was First Sea Lord at the time of the Armistice, not First Lord of the Admiralty. 

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
27 Jun 2020

"Splendidly researched, and with a striking new thesis"

So should you buy this book? It’s fascinating, and the research ground-breaking, though be warned that there’s not much crowd-friendly shot-making. It’s more of a donnish slice of history, with extensive quotation and elucidation. But don’t be put off. This is a fascinating study, whose insights will stop you dead even if you thought, as I did, that you already knew this stuff.

 
4 stars out of 5
Martin Ivens
13 Jun 2020

"November 1918 is a perceptive study of an orderly people who proved that a revolution need not lead to extremes of left and right"

Here the reader is entitled to ask some hard questions. Should democracy have been employed like a Monopoly board “Get out of jail free” card at Versailles? After its terrible sacrifice, how could France tolerate an even greater Germany in the middle of continental Europe, even one led by the respectable Friedrich Ebert?

November 1918 is a perceptive study of an orderly people who proved that a revolution need not lead to extremes of left and right, but Gerwarth can’t quite dispel the air of doom hanging over the republic.