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Germany: The Long Road West

Volume 1: 1789-1933

H.A. Winkler and Alexander Sager

Publication Date - 18 January 2007

ISBN: 9780199265978

610 pages

Vivid, succint, and highly accessible, this first volume of Heinrich Winkler's magisterial history of modern Germany takes us from the final days of the Holy Roman Empire to the downfall of the Weimar Republic in 1933.


Vivid, succinct, and highly accessible, Heinrich Winkler's magisterial history of modern Germany offers the history of a nation and its people through two turbulent centuries. It is the story of a country that, while always culturally identified with the West, long resisted the political trajectories of its neighbors.

This first volume (of two) begins with the origins and consequences of the medieval myth of the "Reich," which was to experience a fateful renaissance in the twentieth century, and ends with the collapse of the first German democracy. Winkler offers a brilliant synthesis of complex events and illuminates them with fresh insights. He analyses the decisions that shaped the country's triumphs and catastrophes, interweaving high politics with telling vignettes about the German people and their own self-perception.

With a second volume that takes the story up to reunification in 1990, Germany: The Long Road West will be welcomed by scholars, students, and anyone wishing to understand this most complex and contradictory of countries.


  • The English edition of a highly acclaimed history of modern Germany
  • Winkler offers a brilliant synthesis of complex events, illuminated by new research

About the Author(s)

Heinrich August Winkler was born in 1938 in Königsberg. He studied history, philosophy, and public law in Tübingen, Heidelberg and Münster. He was associate professor at the Freie Universität in Berlin in 1970-72 and then professor of modern history in Freiburg until 1991. He has been at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin since 1992, and has been a visiting scholar in Princeton, at the Wilson Center in Washington, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, and at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich.


"Heinrich Winkler's seminal Germany: The Long Road West, 1789-1933 is destined to become a must-have for both scholars and students of German history...Winkler's excellent approach...makes this book a masterpiece of historical research."--Sandra Barkhof, History

Table of Contents

    1. Legacy of a Millennium
    2. Hampered by Progress 1789-1830
    3. Liberalism in Crisis 1830-1850
    4. Unity before Liberty 1850-1871
    5. The Transformation of Nationalism 1871-1890
    6. World Policy and World War 1890-1918
    7. The Impaired Republic 1918-1933
    Looking Ahead