Cover image for Kaiser Wilhelm II
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Clark, Christopher M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Harlow, England ; New York : Longman, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 271 pages ; 21 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DD229 .C53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Kaiser Wilhelm II is one of the key figuresnbsp;in the history of twentieth-century Europe: King of Prussia and German Emperor from 1888 to the collapse of Germany in 1918 and a crucial player in the events that led to the outbreak of World War I. Following Kaiser Wilhelm's political career from his youth at the Hohenzollern court through the turbulent peacetime decades of the Wilhelmine era into global war and exile, the book presents a new interpretation of this controversial monarch and assesses the impact on Germany of his forty-year reign.

Author Notes

Christopher Clark is a noted historian. He is the twenty-second Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge. In 2015 he was knighted for his services to Anglo-German relations. Clark is the author of The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, Culture Wars: Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power, and The Politics of Conversion: Missionary Protestantism and the Jews in Prussia, 1728-1941.

Clark won the Wolfson History Prize and the Queensland Premier's Literary Award in 2007 for Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. His book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This short and intelligent treatment of the second most interesting Hohenzollern--after Frederick the Great--seems ideally suited for classroom use. Clark deftly incorporates the recent flurry of studies of Wilhelm into his own interpretation of the man and his times. He covers the necessary topics: childhood, youth, and familial conflict; the accession to power and jettisoning of Bismarck; domestic and foreign policy; war and exile. On the central question of "who was in charge" in the Wilhelmian era, Clark adopts a judicious middling position. Wilhelm had great power but lacked any fixed purpose; he wielded influence but could not control the course of German policy. In the realm of foreign affairs, he was rather easy to manipulate but difficult to shut up: "... Wilhelm was a kind of unsackable rogue ambassador whose unpredictable interventions called for constant vigilance and frequent damage limitation exercises on the part of the responsible authorities." Clark regards as illusory the old notion of Wilhelm's "personal rule" and therefore finds him only partially responsible for the disaster that overtook his country and his dynasty. The book contains a useful chronology and English language bibliography, and is recommended for general and academic collections. R. S. Levy; University of Illinois at Chicago

Table of Contents

1 Childhood and youth
2 Taking Power
3 Going it alone
4 Domestic politics from Bulow to Bethmann
5 Wilhelm II and foreign policy, 1888-19116
Power and publicity
7 From crisis to war: 1909-19148
War, exile, death: 1914-19419