The author, a prominent German sociologist, has collected an enormous amount of historical, political and social data to ask what he calls The German Question: Why is it that the pluralistic conception of liberty has never gained a hold in Germany? The work, however, is not merely exegetical but also argumentive. Analyzing the social and political classes in great detail, as well as the implications of the economic and bureaucratic structure of the state, Professor Dahrendorf goes on to ask what are the necessary conditions for implementing his pluralistic philosophy. It is at this point that he shifts from an historical/empirical argument to one that is, in the last analysis, simply the application of his a priori conception of liberalism to German society. Here his thinking becomes rigid and traditional, much like the 1848 revolutionaries, in fact. The work will be a valuable addition to the annals for its insights into the German question once its 19th century liberalism is cast aside.