FREDERICK THE GREAT by Ludwig Reiners

FREDERICK THE GREAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Frederick, the flute-playing king of Prussia, who suffered extremes of irrational treatment as a boy and grew up to correspond with Voltaire, to make reason and altruism his guides, and to challenge with success the power of Maria Theresa of Austria and Catherine the Great of Russia, is presented here in all his contradictions. He is called ""an enigma"" in the first chapter- and an enigma he remains at the end, partly due to the extreme scrupulousness of the author who draws on letters, poems and historical documents to back up such assertions or interpretations as he does make, and is careful to cite the authorities with whom he disagrees. One could wish that certain aspects, such as the possible homosexuality implied by a few incidents and letters, could have been dealt with more frankly. However, this is an interesting picture of a man who in spite of the clash between reason and altruism made Prussia a powerful and prosperous state.

Publisher: Putnam