This is doubtless an important book, a book that needed to be written- and the fact that is written by Emil Ludwig will give it wider distribution than its title, its subject matter or its handling would be apt to get otherwise. Here is German history from a specific angle and with a specific purpose,- the tracing of the dream of world dominion, the story of the struggle between State and Spirit. He starts with Charlemagne, on down to the present, the recurrent urge for domination- Charlemagne by conquest, Charles V by dynasty, Frederick II by culture. He traces the development of certain strengths and weaknesses of the German character- analyzes the contributions made to music, to literature; discusses the changing status of women; emphasizes the place religion has taken in German history. He shows how liberty, crushed in 1726, has resulted in continuous (virtually) servility in the Prussian character, 200 years of virtual slavery although after 100 years there was established the first representative body. Hitler and his gang epitomize the worst in the German character, glorify the death of the spirit, survive only through destruction of the liberty of Europe. In the process he is setting up a United States of Europe which will survive only if in turn force is destroyed by force. There are sections of this that make a valuable contribution to better understanding of the deep roots of this will to power in Germany- negating the theory that in destroying Hitlerism, the danger is rooted out. Not easy reading.