R. J. W. Evans is a Fellow of Oriel College and Regius Professor of History Emeritus at Oxford. His books include Austria, Hungary, and the Habsburgs: Central Europe, c. 1683–1867.
 (January 2016)


A New Vision of Germany

A parade on the first ‘Day of German Art,’ marking the opening of the first ‘Great German Art Exhibition’ of works by artists approved by the Nazi regime, Munich, July 18, 1937

Germany: Memories of a Nation

by Neil MacGregor
This is a book about the Germans and their past. But it is also a distinctly British book. Britain has unfinished business with the history of Germany in a way other countries seem no longer to have, even those pitted against it more desperately through twentieth-century wars and aggression. For …

How They Hunted Down Liberals

‘Proclamation of the French Republic’; caricature by Johann Christian Schoeller, February 1848

Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State, 1789–1848

by Adam Zamoyski
In the years after the Congress of Vienna, whose final act was signed almost exactly two centuries ago, on June 9, 1815, the flamboyant English Romantic poet Lord Byron had more followers across Europe than any of his contemporaries. Quite a few of them followed him literally: he was being …

‘The Greatest Catastrophe the World Has Seen’

John Singer Sargent: Gassed, 1919

The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

by Margaret MacMillan

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War

by Charles Emmerson
June 28, 1914, Sarajevo, Bosnia. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the multinational Habsburg realms, resplendent in the dress uniform of an Austrian cavalry general, but also absurd in his plumed headdress, was shot at close range by Gavrilo Princip, a local student dropout obsessed with the Serbian national cause. Sarajevo was one of history’s most purple passages: there was the drama of bungled security and hamfisted conspiracy; spectacle and gore; the play of intention and chance; the clash of generations and civilizations, of the old monarchical Europe and the modern terrorist cell.

In the Lost World of East Prussia

Marienburg Castle, the former headquarters of the Teutonic Order, Marienburg, East Prussia, 1928. The castle, in what is now Poland, was damaged significantly during World War II, but has since been mostly reconstructed.

Forgotten Land: Journeys among the Ghosts of East Prussia

by Max Egremont
German history has a Stunde Null, a zero hour. It applies to the capitulation at midnight on May 8, 1945, or more generally to the end of World War II. Germans experienced the unconditional surrender of the National Socialist state amid unprecedented destruction of the existing built environment, political system, …

The Gambler in Blood and Iron

Otto von Bismarck with his dogs, Tyras II and Rebecca, July 1891

Bismarck: A Life

by Jonathan Steinberg


by Jean-Paul Bled
Life with Otto von Bismarck could be very uncomfortable, even for those on his own side. Shortly after being appointed premier of Prussia in 1862, with a brief to defend monarch and army against an overwhelming liberal majority in parliament, he gave a speech that included the infamous claim that …

The Most Dynamic Ruler

Emperor Joseph II of Austria; painting by Joseph Hickel, 1771

Joseph II: Volume II, Against the World, 1780–1790

by Derek Beales
Within a twenty-year span during the late eighteenth century, two revolutions, one in the North American colonies, the other in France, unleashed the two most powerful forces of our contemporary world: on one hand, the liberal and libertarian ideas that would inexorably lead to democratic ones; on the other hand, …

Mighty Prussia: Rise and Fall

Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947

by Christopher Clark
Christopher Clark begins his enthralling, shrewd, and sparkling narrative at the end, with one of the two things most people know about Prussia: that it no longer exists. In February 1947 the Allied powers issued a formal decree abolishing the Prussian state, in the aftermath of the calamitous events provoked …