IRON CHANCELLOR: Otto von Bismarck by Alfred Apsler

IRON CHANCELLOR: Otto von Bismarck

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The librarian who needs a juvenile biography of Bismarck has a Hobson's choice between this and the Snyder-Brown (1966, 1187, J-405): the other worships, this postures. As witness the first three chapter headings -- Sad Junker, Mad Junker, Fighting Junker -- and the characteristic reference to an English inamorata as a ""tender flower of British womanhood,"" to Bismarck ""twirling his big mustache with satisfaction."" Labels substitute for explanation throughout; Nietzsche is simply (and ludicrously) ""Friedrich Nietzsche, the mad thinker;"" Hegel and Hegelianism are ""obtuse"" and ""involved."" Moreover, the already wordy text is further expanded by bits of invented dialogue. If Bismarck is oversize in the Snyder and Brown treatment, he is also more strongly drawn, and so is his historical role; the Apsler text lacks definition and differentiation. Probably the other would be more useful as a supplement to history although neither scores as a portrait from life.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1968
Publisher: Messner