❮Read❯ ➯ George, Nicholas and Wilhelm Author Miranda Carter – Saudionline.co.uk

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm pdf George, Nicholas and Wilhelm , ebook George, Nicholas and Wilhelm , epub George, Nicholas and Wilhelm , doc George, Nicholas and Wilhelm , e-pub George, Nicholas and Wilhelm , George, Nicholas and Wilhelm b4d3809ad96 In The Years Before The First World War, The Great European Powers Were Ruled By Three First Cousins King George V Of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II Of Germany And Tsar Nicholas II Of Russia Together, They Presided Over The Last Years Of Dynastic Europe And The Outbreak Of The Most Destructive War The World Had Ever Seen, A War That Set Twentieth Century Europe On Course To Be The Most Violent Continent In The History Of The WorldMiranda Carter Uses The Cousins Correspondence And A Host Of Historical Sources To Tell The Tragicomic Story Of A Tiny, Glittering, Solipsistic World That Was Often Preposterously Out Of Kilter With Its Times, Struggling To Stay In Command Of Politics And World Events As History Overtook It George, Nicholas And Wilhelm Is A Brilliant And Sometimes Darkly Hilarious Portrait Of These Men Damaged, Egotistical Wilhelm Quiet, Stubborn Nicholas And Anxious, Dutiful George And Their Lives, Foibles And Obsessions, From Tantrums To Uniforms To Stamp Collecting It Is Also Alive With Fresh, Subtle Portraits Of Other Familiar Figures Queen Victoria Grandmother To Two Of Them, Grandmother In Law To The Third Whose Conservatism And Bullying Obsession With Family Left A Dangerous Legacy And Edward VII, The Playboy Arch Vulgarian Who Turned Out To Have A Remarkable Gift For International Relations And The Theatrics Of Mass Politics At The Same Time, Carter Weaves Through Their Stories A Riveting Account Of The Events That Led To World War I, Showing How The Personal And The Political Interacted, Sometimes To Devastating EffectFor All Three Men The War Would Be A Disaster That Destroyed Forever The Illusion Of Their Close Family Relationships, With Any Sense Of Peace And Harmony Shattered In A Final Coda Of Murder, Betrayal And Abdication


10 thoughts on “George, Nicholas and Wilhelm

  1. says:

    I have a joke for you hereditary monarchies That s it That s the joke Of all the ways that man has devised for cornering power, none is as breathtaking as the hereditary monarchy For centuries, kings and queens have ruled vast nations based solely on the notion that their blood is somehow royal It s utter wash, of course, as countless failed leaders have proven There is nothing special about royal blood It is the same blood as runs through our veins Except for the hemophilia The royals have a lot hemophilia The absurdity of the crown runs like a black joke throughout Miranda Carter s triple biography, George, Nicholas and Wilhelm Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I King George V of Great Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were not great men They were not even average men Quite to the contrary, they were eminently unsuited to lead a PTA meeting, much less globe spanning empires They are Exhibits A through C as to why the coincidental meeting of sperm and egg should not decide any country s transfer of power Of course, by the time World War I rolled around, that had become apparent to most thinking people Accordingly, King George V was a figurehead, Kaiser Wilhelm was constrained by Reichstag, and only Nicholas II came close to a true autocrat in fact, a true autocrat right to the end, which spelled doom for him, his wife, and his children This reality the occasional impotence of these leaders defines the contours of Carter s book The subtitle, Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I, hints that the intertwining lives of these three ridiculous men had something to do with the collision in the Balkans and the resulting catastrophe in Europe That s not the case Leaving aside the infamous Willy Nicky telegrams, these three men played diminished roles of varying importance leading up to 1914, and were well seated bystanders during the July Crisis To Carter s credit, she doesn t try to prove otherwise There is no overarching theory that the blood relationships and diplomatic relationships between these three men caused or could have averted World War I This is not an academic history It is not concerned with political movements or geopolitical posturing or Balkan history or entangling alliances Instead, it is the story of three average to below average men who were all way over their heads The punch line being that none of them realized how far over their heads they were Taken that way, George, Nicholas and Wilhelm is well researched, ably presented, and easily read It is also quite entertaining Carter mostly ignores the political science angle and focuses instead on the human dimension This is the perfect route to take, because George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm were excruciatingly human There was never any hint that God or the gods smiles upon these men George is the least interesting, partially because he had no power in an England dominated by Parliament, and partially because he was a big dull dud George, in fact, perfectly embodies the modern British crown He was a fop, obsessed with clothes he had an intellect that was of no use than a pistol packed at the bottom of a trunk if one was attacked in the robber infested Apennines and he had intense dislike for everything complex His great passions in life were stamp collecting and shooting He was very good at shooting George s obsession with aristocratic hunting beaters to flush the game, servants to carry his guns and lunch was shared with Tsar Nicholas with whom George also shared an uncanny resemblance Indeed, in 1893, Nicholas recorded 667 dead creatures for 1596 shots fired Oh, also, that was for one day Nicholas is a man difficult to hate It is, after all, hard to despise a person who was murdered in a grimy little basement along with his entire family By all accounts, he was a good husband and a caring father, who doted unceasingly on his hemophilic son Alexis He was remarkably stolid after his abdication, spending his captivity chopping firewood On the other hand, Nicholas s historical reputation has benefited greatly from sympathetic biographers such as Robert Massey He may have loved his family, but he gave two farts for the people he ruled And when you push some people long enough, some people push back Nicholas compensated for his anxious feelings of inadequacy and lack of preparedness by holding tenaciously to his belief in divine right The moment the crown had touched his head, he had become a vehicle for God s purpose and had magically absorbed a kind of spiritual superiority which made him, whatever his inadequacies, better equipped than any minister to know what Russia needed It was a mystical idea far literal even than the pronouncements about his relationship with God which had brought Wilhelm such derision in Europe, and in Nicholas it encouraged a kind of fatalism which would make him oddly passive in a crisis It also made him extremely possessive of his authority, and sensitive to anything that could be interpreted as interference While Nicholas the family man was gentle and charming, Nicholas the emperor was often touchy, mistrustful and stubbornBy far the most fascinating and horrifyingly so leader was Kaiser Wilhelm It is rare to see so many pathologies bundled into a single person Wilhelm is the easiest of the three crowned heads to despise With his posturing, his mustache, his bellicosity, he was a caricaturist s dream His actions towards Great Britain I love you I hate you Do you like my admiral s uniform are fitting for grade school romances than a head of state His stubborn insistence on forging a great Navy, despite being a mostly landlocked country, triggered an arms race with Great Britain that finally resolved itself at Jutland Yet Wilhelm also engendered of my sympathy than the other two He was, it seems, marked from the beginning to fail At the moment of his birth, two, or arguably three, factors, immediately had a defining effect on the life and character of Kaiser Wilhelm II Firstly, the baby s left arm was damaged in the delivery a fact which, in the relief and excitement following his birth, wasn t noticed for three days It seems likely that in the obstetrician s urgency to get the baby out before he suffocated, he wrenched and irretrievably crushed the network of nerves in Willy s arm, rendering it useless and unable to grow Secondly, and unprovably, it s possible that those first few minutes without oxygen may have caused brain damage Willy grew up to be hyperactive and emotionally unstable brain damage sustained at birth was a possible cause Thirdly, an almost impossible burden of conflicting demands and expectations came to rest upon Willy at the moment of his birth.Wilhelm s deformity, his crummy upbringing, teach a great lesson Emperors, it seems, were children once Even at his belligerent worse, I think it s possible to see the damaged child behind Willy s upturned mustache Carter s combined biography mostly concludes with the outbreak of World War I She does devote a single chapter to the three monarchs during the war however, this is obviously not adequate to maintain the level of detail previously provided This authorial decision was a bit disappointing After reading these vivid portraits, I wanted to follow these well intentioned unworthies through the ups and downs of war It s an especial shame when it comes to Nicholas s abdication, arrest, and murder Due to the compression of the entire war into one chapter, Carter doesn t have the proper space to devote to Nicholas s plight, specifically with regards to his two cousins failure to save him Having read this during the summer of Kate Middleton s pregnancy, I took a special lesson from George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm monarchies are preposterous Great Britain literally pays these people to create spectacles to entertain the masses Americans can and do enjoy for free maybe than most Brits Marriages and pregnancies, affairs and divorces, topless photos and sudden death None of it is relevant to running a country None of it is relevant to the ordinary, day to day lives of anyone This is why history is instructive The past can help clarify the present Put down that Us Weekly Turn off E Entertainment News Ignore the royal bump These are just folks, folks Fact strip away the future crown and Prince William is an okay looking fellow with male pattern baldness and the tendency towards a weak chin Democracy is often a train wreck It s often a train wreck combined with a plane crash crossed with a traffic accident Elections often come down to corporate money, demagoguery, ad hominem attacks, and popularity contests But at least no one pretends they were chosen by the heavens to rule on this earth.


  2. says:

    OK, I haven t read this book I will, maybe but I was pissed after reading a review Here s part of a review that demonstrates why I often hate reviews in the NY Times Book Review Last two paragraphs George, Nicholas and Wilhelm is an impressive book Ms Carter has clearly not bitten off than she can chew for she as John Updike once wrote about G nter Grass chews it enthusiastically before our eyes You turn this book s pages with interest, however, but rarely with eagerness It s a volume that never quite warms in your hands, packed perhaps too airlessly with what Ms Carter describes at one point as backstabbing, intrigue and muddle That phrase would have made a good alternative title First paragraph says it s impressive Fine And then goes on to make another compliment after some silly, gratuitous name dropping that the author chews it enthusiastically Not one of Updike s felicitous metaphors.OK, I m interested, sounds positive, right But then, WTF, comes the seemingly negative, but rarely with interest Because the book never quite warms in your handspacked too airlessly, Huh Filled with backstabbing, intrigue and muddle, which makes it sound interesting again Obviously the writer of this review is staring in the mirror, preening with self satisfaction at having sounded sufficiently erudite and opaque so we haven t a clue what to think.edited to include maybe.


  3. says:

    I highly recommend this book What it does in an exemplary fashion is show the reader who George, Nicholas and Wilhelm were You learn not only of their actions, but also of there varying temperaments This is a biography, not a dry history book It is well researched, and will be fascinating to those of you who want to look at the personalities of these three cousins At the same time you will come to understand why WW1 occurred why in fact it was practically inevitable Political disputes and family disputes are intertwined I loved learning about Queen Victoria, the three cousins grandmother This book whets the readers interest in numerous other historical figures too, such as Queen Victoria, Bismarck and Vicky, Wilhelm s mother If you have not read about the Archduke Franz Ferdinand you will need to read other books that focus on him I liked The Assassination of the Archduke Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World You simply cannot find just one book about all of the people and events leading to WW1 The book is well researched It is filled with many, many quotes that reveal the idiosyncrasies of each character They are not cardboard figures The beginning of the book starts with three chapters, each respectively about the childhood of the three cousins As adults their interactions and others roles are detailed The political climate is carefully depicted What was happening in not only the Balkans but also Africa, Japan and China Of course, Great Britain under Queen Victoria and her offspring, Russia under Alexander II and III and Germany all of this is covered The historical facts are interwoven with family celebrations, marriages, birthdays, shared summers together and deaths As in any family there are disputes and happy memories Jealousies, competition and family quirks.This is a book about political and familial tensions The book covers the time period from the middle of the 1800s through the war and after the war until each of the cousins deaths What happened to Kaiser Wilhelm after the war It is all here Of course the Russian Revolution too, Nicholas abdication and his family s death, Rasputin and Alexi s hemophilia.I didn t love the book as much in the end as I did in the beginning Why I am not quite sure Maybe it is because I listened to it rather than read it Let me explain The narrator, Rosalyn Landor, used one theatrical voice, a gruff British male voice, for all the different men For me, I associated this voice with Wilhelm, but in fact she used exactly the same intonation for all of the quotes voiced by men I became confused and unsure who was speaking Is this George or Wilhelm or Nicholas, or in fact somebody else WHO is talking now I would have to rewind And why did I always assume that it was Wilhelm speaking he is German Usually, I try and rate the written book, but here the narration caused me confusion and affected my appreciation of that written For this reason it has influenced my rating The confusion doesn t happen in the beginning of the book the reader knows exactly who the author is speaking of I wish Landor had just read the book without adding a theatrical presentation If she wanted to dramatize the voices she should have used different intonations for the three cousins I have only read two chapters, but am impressed and totally captivated The first was on Wilhelm s youth, the second on George s and now comes Nicholas You really feel like you get to know the families of these three cousins I love learning about Queen Victoria, their grandmother The author makes their lives interesting and fills the book with interesting facts There is a lot to learn here I am even tempted to start over again to hammer into my head of the details I do believe that one s personality is largely influenced by childhood experiences How did these three leaders, King, Czar and Kaiser come to be shaped This author presents the facts in such a manner that the reader wants to know and and and is interested in what is presented in other words the text is not dry even though it is chock full with facts.


  4. says:

    Monarchy LOLZ.6 7 18 New Yorker article by the author on one of the most amazing illuminating aspects of this excellent biography What Happens When a Bad Tempered, Distractable Doofus Runs an Empire


  5. says:

    This was brilliant For anyone interested in the road to WWI this is a wonderful synopsis from the perspective of the exhaustion and decline of autocracy, monarchy and empire Using the familial relationships among Victoria, Edward, George, Wilhelm and Nicholas Carter pulls the reader into the conflicting pulls on the leading monarchs of their day amid the challenges of nationalism, republicanism, socialism and the last gasps of aristocratic and colonial entitlement Along the way we are provided poignant and stark portraits of the characters under the crowns Victoria s selfishness, Wilhelm s maniacal madness, Bertie s appetites, George s stodginess, Nicholas s mystical fatalism, Alexandra s fearfulness and the many diplomats, courtiers, hangers on and politicians who had to wrestle with their monarchs and a world plunging inexorably to war Ultimately, this is the story of global expansion and coexistence and clarifies the legacy we live with today A must read for any student of history.


  6. says:

    This book was long, dense, and detailed From the endorsements on the cover I expected something a little rollicking, but historical detail is often a trade off with readability, and it s quite a fair trade.This book is a look at the lives of Tsar Nicholas II, King George V, and Kaiser Wilhelm II in the years from their birth to World War II, with additional focus on Queen Victoria and Edward VII Carter is absolutely unsparing of each man s foibles Although when war actually came, Wilhelm tried to prevent it, his years of hysterical and unstable rule, his worship of the hyper masculinised German army machine and his refusal to allow the Reichstag any control of it meant that when war did come, Germany quickly and quietly transformed into a military dictatorship Although Nicholas II was a quiet, gentle, and doting family man, he firmly believed that despite his own manifest incompetence to rule his utter ignorance of life beyond the gates of his own palaces, the inability of any one man to personally administer the government of millions he nevertheless was magically gifted to rule purely by virtue of the fact that he was the tsar Thousands of Russians peacefully begging for liberty and representative government were murdered following his orders and when he was finally forced to allow them a representative assembly the Duma he did everything he could to obstruct it George V, the only man who seems to have learned anything at all from his experiences, was simply a painfully dull, ignorant, incurious, and tactless man of whom it was once said that For seventeen years, he did nothing at all but kill animals and stick in stamps George is, however, the only gleam of grace in this book Like his grandmother Queen Victoria, he found the knack of presenting himself to his people not as a symbol of the divine right of an autocrat to rule, but that of the people to govern themselves Harold Laski is quoted as saying The Monarchy, to put it bluntly, has been sold to the democracy as the symbol of itself Ever since Victoria there has been something decidedly bourgeois about the English monarchy, and it was George V who made the conscious decision to institutionalise this Nicholas and Wilhelm had lived lives totally detached from those of the people they governed, to the extent that Nicholas had no idea of the worth of money George wanted to present the English crown in the words of his secretary, Stamfordham as a living power for good, with receptive faculties welcoming information affecting the interests and social well being of all classes, and ready, not only to sympathise with those questions, but anxious to further their solutionif opportunities are seized, during His Majesty s visits to industrial centres, in conversation with the workmen, to show his interest in such problems as employers and employed will have to solve, these men will recognise in the Crown those characteristics may I say virtues which I have ventured to enumerate above In other words, as disinterested by engaged with the people, especially the working classes.This is without a doubt the secret for the perpetuation of the English monarchy to the present day Wilhelm and Nicholas were determined to be autocrats, ruling supreme and for their own benefit The English crown, however, traded power for survival and saw their role as being the servants of those they govern Americans often scoff at the Royal family for being welfare queens but today, the House of Windsor annually contributes millions of pounds worth of revenues from crown property and thousands of millions of pounds worth of tourist revenue to the UK, as well as working hard to present a personal, engaged, and gracious face of British government to the people.THE THREE EMPERORS is a fascinating look at the last gasps of royal autocracy in Europe As history marches on, autocratic power whether in the church, the state, or the family becomes and untenable, and people who were once content to live subject to the whims of the divinely appointed become demanding of freedom it can be no mistake that in China and Russia, the two largest Communist nations, Communism replaced an imperial regime that was actually possibly repressive and demeaning than even Communism itself Eventually, there must be repentance or judgement This book was detailed and not a particularly fast read, but it was utterly illuminating.


  7. says:

    I have managed to write a review that is longer than the actual book but I found the subject matter so interesting that it was hard not to talk about it If you are interested in the monarchs that ruled pre WWI Europe and how these royal cousins ushered in the war than this is a must read for you The beginning of the book focuses on Queen Victoria probably the last effective monarch in England At the time of Victoria, the English Monarchs still had sway and a veto In Germany and Russia, the Kaiser and Tsar still ruled supreme The royals believed that blood ties between countries were the best way to preserve peace Therefore, Victoria s grand children, through a series of arranged marriages, wound up as monarchs in about a dozen countries across Europe Wilhelm and George were both grandchildren of Victoria and Czar Nicholas s wife Alexandria was Victoria s favorite grandchild At the turn of the century however, running a country was becoming too complex for a Monarch whose qualification to rule was merely birth right The Czar was completely sheltered and raised in opulent wealth His first language was English and he had German blood than Russian The Kaiser took on an active role in all matters He was even an Admiral in the British Navy He took this honorary title way too seriously and was considered a bit of a royal horse s ass by all George liked to hunt birds sometimes with his cousin Nicky They would take 1100 game birds in a single day Meanwhile, Wilhelm s saber rattling, Navel build up, and general competition with England put in motion what Wilhelm could not stop Tsar Nicholas knew this war had the potential to lead to disaster Just a few years prior, in 1905 the Tsar was talked into a conflict with Japan by his advisers This had led to a lopsided defeat and plunged Russia s economy into a tailspin The Russian people, the general public, and the German army wanted war At the last minute, the three cousins tried to stop the conflict but it could not be stopped During the war, George changed the family name from Saxe Coburg s to the Windsor s The Kaiser helped initiate the Bolshevik revolution in order to take his cousin out of the war George could have given asylum to his cousins but he inexplicably refused The Czar and Czarina and their family helped to usher in a new era by becoming the first victims of a new type of government that was good at only one thing Killing off their own citizens When the war ended the reign of the Hohenzollern s and the Romanov s was over The Saxe Coburg s Windsor s lost even influence.


  8. says:

    The Impact of Queen Victoria on HistoryQueen Victoria of England not only had one of the longest reigns in royal history her reign of 63 years and 7 months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history but her progeny produced leaders in disparate countries that focused on three names in the pre world War I period King George V of Great Britain an India , Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany In a manner of relating history as a fascinating novel than as a history book author Miranda Carter manages to explore the personalities of these three men and importantly the dissimilarities in these three cousins She slowly but surely allows us to see how thoroughly apolitical King George and Tsar Nicholas were and how the paranoid Emperor Wilhelm used the relationships to foster the growing embitterment between Germany and England In fact, Carter creates the atmosphere of the times to document how inept and out of touch with not only their duties of governance but also with the situation of the world as it developed in this curious time The fact that the interaction or lack thereof among these three descendants of Queen Victoria brought to an end the concept of Monarchy in Europe makes Carter s beautifully documented book well worth the read There is so much history and recreation of the milieu of the times in this book that reading it closely resembles a terrific film or stage play than a book For those who enjoy exploration of personalities as they influence world events, then this book is bound to please Few writers have been as consistently readable as Carter in that strange gap in our history 1914 1918 that changed the globe forever Grady Harp


  9. says:

    I enjoyed the book for the most part It has a simple thesis The your leader is out of touch and coddled the severe the results inflicted on the followers Spoiled children without reality are not the ones to run the country think of Mr Trump


  10. says:

    First class analysis, and really well written.


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