Almost a century after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Kaiser Wilhelm II is still viewed as either a warmonger or a madman, as the hundred-year-old propaganda posters remain fixed in the general consciousness. Was he, though, truly responsible for the catastrophe of the First World War, or was he in fact a convenient scapegoat, blamed for a conflict which he desperately tried to avoid?
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Very readable, just not believable
The details that are overlooked in standard histories of World War I. It's that much more fun that a few of them are Internet myths or were even made up by the author. Don't miss the part about the French poison gas with the English name Turpinite.
Woodrow Wilson, who doublecrossed the Kaiser. He is the bad guy in this story.
The sneering way he reads the snotty comments from the author and various historical figures. I was almost ready to vote against President Wilson in the next election.
The Kaiser, in retirement, blaming World War I on the freemasons.
I look forward to trips to the grocery store because I can read the headline in the Inquirer while I'm waiting for checkout. I think that's why I liked this book so much. Meet Kaiser Bill, the nicest autocrat in Europe, beloved by all except for Germany's neighbors. Like many other leaders, he talks incessantly of his desire for peace, but he really means it. He made only two mistakes, however: he allied himself with some Austrian thugs who murdered the heir to their own throne, blamed it on a terrorist organization that had been dormant for a decade, and dragged Bill into a world war against all his best efforts. His second mistake was to preside over a government that never gave straight answers to his questions and ignored his decrees. It's not easy being the All Highest.
- Laurence P. Yarosh