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Book Title: The Germans|
The author of the book: Gordon A. Craig
Date of issue: September 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780452010857
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 999 KB
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They have given mankind triumphs in science, literature, philosophy, music, and art. They have also produced Hitler and the Holocaust. They are romantic and conservative, idealistic and practical, proud and insecure, ruthless and good-natured. They are, in short, the Germans.
Gordon A. Craig, one of the world's premier authorities on Germany, comes to grip in this definitive history with the complex paradoxes at the many contemporary institutions in German history and closely examines such topics as religion, money, Germans and Jews, women, professors and students, romantics, literature and society, soldiers, Berlin, and the German language. In his new Afterword, Professor Craig discusses the events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the two Germanies into a new democratic republic. In this classic work, now thoroughly updated, Gordon A. Craig offers invaluable insights into a people and a nation that have played a pivotal role in world affairs for over a century.
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Read information about the authorBorn in Glasgow, Gordon Craig emigrated with his family in 1925, initially to Toronto, Canada, and then to Jersey City, New Jersey. Initially interested in studying the law, he switched to history after hearing the historian Walter "Buzzer" Hall lecture at Princeton University. In 1935, Craig visited and lived for several months in Germany, to research a thesis he was writing on the downfall of the Weimar Republic. This trip marked the beginning of lifelong interest with all things German. Craig did not enjoy the atmosphere of Nazi Germany, and throughout his life, he sought to find the answer to the question of how a people who, in his opinion, had made a disproportionately large contribution to Western civilization, allowed themselves to become entangled in what Craig saw as the corrupting embrace of Nazism.
Of Adolf Hitler, Craig once wrote,
"Adolf Hitler was sui generis, a force without a real historical past... dedicated to the acquisition of power for his own gratification and to the destruction of a people whose existence was an offense to him and whose annihilation would be his crowning triumph. Both the grandiose barbarism of his political vision and the moral emptiness of his character make it impossible to compare him in any meaningful way with any other German leader. He stands alone"
Craig graduated in history from Princeton University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, from 1936 to 1938, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a captain and in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. In 1941, he co-edited with Edward Mead Earle and Felix Gilbert, on behalf of the American War Department, the book Makers of Modern Strategy: Military Thought From Machiavelli to Hitler, which was intended to serve as a guide to strategic thinking for military leaders during the war.
After 1945, Craig worked as a consultant to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the State Department, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Historical Division of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a professor at Princeton University from 1950–61 and at Stanford University from 1961-79. In 1956-1957, he taught at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In addition, he often held visiting professorships at the Free University of Berlin; in 1967, Craig was the only professor there to sign a petition asking for an investigation into charges of police brutality towards protesting students. Craig was chair of the history department at Stanford in 1972-1975 and 1978-1979. Between 1975-1985, he served as the vice-president of the Comité International des Sciences Historiques. In 1979, he became an emeritus professor and was awarded the title J. E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Humanities.
During his time at Stanford, Craig was considered to be a popular and innovative teacher who improved both undergraduate and graduate teaching, while remaining well liked by the students. After his retirement, he worked as a book reviewer for the New York Review of Books. Some of his reviews attracted controversy, most notably in April 1996, when he praised Daniel Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners and later in September of the same year when he argued that David Irving's work was valuable because of what Craig saw as Irving's devil's advocate role. Craig argued that Irving was usually wrong, but that by promoting what Craig saw as a twisted and wrongheaded view of history with a great deal of élan, Irving forced other historians to fruitfully examine their beliefs about what is known about the Third Reich.
Craig was formerly President of the American Historical Association. In 1953, together with his friend Felix Gilbert, he edited a prosopography of inter-war diplomats entitled The Diplomats, an important source for diplomatic history in the interwar period. He followed this book with studies on the Prussian Army, the Battle of Königgrätz and many aspects of European and Ger
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