Author Topic: GEORGE, NICHOLAS AND WILHELM Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I  (Read 3853 times)

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Offline primrose

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This new book is reviewed in today's New York Times...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/books/24book.html?emc=eta1
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Offline grandduchessella

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Might be interesting but I found several points that raised my ire just in the review! Seems the writer is going by tired old sterotypes and not looking beyond preformed assumptions. I really wish a writer ala John Rohl or Tor Bomann-Larsen was writing in for wider publication (in Rohl's case) or in English (in Bomann-Larsen's). Many of the really in-depth, fresh take bios all seemed to be overseas with no hope of translations! Hopefully it will be better than the similarly titled King, Kaiser, Czar (or whatever order they were in) which had a good number of inaccuracies.
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Offline primrose

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I agree with you about the stereotypes, as I read the review I was asking myself if the author really had researched the early lives of these three men, I would never say that any of them had been pampered as children!

The generalization that the three of them "...were certain that their fondness for one another, and their blood ties, could effect long-term peace in Europe" is ludicrous. She must not have read much about Willie and his relationships with the entire family if she thinks this is true. However, as reviewers do like to quote eye-catching phrases this may not have been in context.

I'll probably check it out at the library but I don't intend to spend $30 for it.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

Winston Churchill

Offline Janet Ashton

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I agree with you about the stereotypes, as I read the review I was asking myself if the author really had researched the early lives of these three men, I would never say that any of them had been pampered as children!

The generalization that the three of them "...were certain that their fondness for one another, and their blood ties, could effect long-term peace in Europe" is ludicrous. She must not have read much about Willie and his relationships with the entire family if she thinks this is true. However, as reviewers do like to quote eye-catching phrases this may not have been in context.

I'll probably check it out at the library but I don't intend to spend $30 for it.



Actually, it is worth buying. The reviewer has put their own spin on what they read, as they always do. The author's view of Wilhelm is quite influenced by John Rohl, and she has done a lot of research, primary and secondary, to judge from the bibliography. I never read either Ann Morrow's book or Catrine Clay's, but someone who did told me that she thinks this one much more serious than either - and from reading it I would certainly consider it a serious work by a serious historian. I mentioned it in  another thread - it is crisply written and is not light on politics, as royal bios often are ("Born to rule" would be an example the sort of thing I literally can't stand on that score: superficial, sentimental, full of purple prose and rather devoid of context. Ouch! :-) ).
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Offline primrose

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Thanks for these insights, Janet. I shall approach it with an open mind and report back after I've read it. At the moment I'm deep into Last Years of the Court at Tsarskoe Selo by Alexander Spiridovitch... no sentimental slop or purple prose in this one!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 11:53:32 PM by primrose »
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

Winston Churchill

Alixz

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OK - Did the reviewer like it or didn't like it?

It is "well chewed" or "muddled".  Ok, I guess we have to figure that one out for ourselves.

I have King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay and Cousin's Divided by Anne Morrow and also Crowns in Conflict by Theo Aronson.

How many more books about Willy, Nicky and Georgie can we handle?



Offline grandduchessella

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Any number until one actually gets it right.  :) (I would exclude Crowns in Conflict as it was about more than the 3 of them and was a good book.)
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Theo Aronosn is one of my favorite authors.  His books are always factual and well researched.