Teaching German History - Reading Suggestions

Dec 2016
2
Italy
#1
Hi all,

I'm a high school history teacher about to start teaching Nazi Germany, and I'm looking for suggestions for books I could read to help me prepare. I'm already halfway through Kershaw's great Hitler biography, and I'm going to read Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich over Christmas. What I'm looking for right now is general, pre-twentieth century, information about Germany, from the medieval age up to the world wars. I like to start my students with a whistle-stop tour of how we arrived at the start of our area of study.

I found two texts that looked good: Iron Kingdom, by Christopher Clark, for a history of Prussia, and the Cambridge Concise History of Germany. I'm looking for guidance now. Are these books any good (one is a little long)? Do I even need a separate book on Prussia to understand German history?

And most importantly, do you have any alternative suggestions?

Thanks,

Martin
 
Last edited:
Apr 2016
37
Iowa, USA
#2
My favorites include:

"German Knighthood, 1050-1300," by Benjamin Arnold
"Armies of Bismarck's Wars: The Army of Prussia-History, Uniforms and Equipment, 1860-1867," by Bruce Basset Powell
"Medieval Civilization in Germany," by Franz Bauml
"Society and Politics in Germany: 1500-1750," by G. Benecke
"History of Germany, 1780-1918: The Long Nineteenth Century," by David Blackbourn
"The Revolution of 1525: The German Peasants' War from a New Perspective," by Peter Blickle, Thomas A. Brady Jr., & H.C. Erik Midelfort
"Shylock in Germany: Antisemitism and the German Theatre from the Enlightenment to the Nazis," by Andrew G. Bonnell
"Fearless Wives & Frightened Shrews: The Construction of the Witch in Early Modern Germany," by Sigrid Brauner
"Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe," by Peter Burke
"Princes and Parliaments in Germany: From the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century," by F.L. Carsten
"Pictures of the German Life in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," by Gustav Freytag & Georgiana Malcolm
"Germany in the High Middle Ages c.1050-1200," by Horst Fuhrmann
"A Concise History of Germany," by Mary Fulbrook
"German history in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation," by William W. Hagen
"A Large-Scale Slave Society of the Early Middle Ages: Slaves and their Families in Early Medieval Bavaria," by Carl I. Hammer
"German Life in Town and Country," by William Harbutt Dawson
"The Franco-Prussian War; The German Invasion of France 1870-1871," by Michael Howard
"Early Modern Germany, 1477-1806," by Michael Hughes
"Law and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Germany: The Imperial Aulic Council in the Reign of Charles VI," by Michael Hughes
"The Hessian Mercenary State: Ideas, Institutions, and Reform under Frederick II, 1760-1785," by Charles W. Ingrao
"History of the German People at the Close of the Middle Ages," by Johannes Janssen
"People on the Move: Attitudes toward and Perceptions of Migration in Medieval and Modern Europe," by Harald Kleinschmidt
"The Spirit of 1848: German Immigrants, Labor Conflict, and the Coming of the Civil War," by Bruce Levine
"The Warwolf: A Peasant Chronicle of the Thirty Years War," by Hermann Lons & Robert Kvinnesland
"Prussia: The Evolution of an Empire," by John Marriot
"Rural Settlement & Farming in Germany," by Alan Mayhew
"The European Family," by Michael Mitterauer & Reinhard Sieder
"Enlightenment Underground: Radical Germany, 1680-1720," by Martin Mulsow & H.C. Erik Midelfort
"A Sketch of the German Constitution and of the Events in Germany from 1815 to 1871," by Arthur Nicolson
"Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany," by Steven Ozment
"A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People," by Steve Ozment
"The Thirty Years' War," by Geoffrey Parker
"The Social Basis of the German Reformation," by R. Pascal
"The Survival of the Hessian Nobility, 1770-1870," by Gregory W. Pedlow
"Handbook of Imperial Germany," by Janet Robinson & Joe Robinson
"Rural Society and the Search for Order in Early Modern Germany," by Thomas Robisheaux
"The Holy Household: Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg," by Lyndal Roper
"Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany," by Lyndal Roper
"Our Daily Bread: German Village Life, 1500-1850," by Teva J. Scheer
"Popular Culture and Popular Movements in Reformation Germany," by R.W. Scribner
"Religion and Culture in Germany, 1400-1800," by Robert Scribner
"Social and Political History of the German 1848 Revolution," by Rudolf Stadelmann
"Indentured to Liberty: Peasant Life and the Hessian Military State, 1688-1815," by Peter Taylor
"German Villages in Crisis: Rural Life in Hesse-Kassel and the Thirty Years' War, 1580-1720," by John C. Theibault
"The Early Germans," by Malcolm Todd
"Federalism and Enlightenment in Germany: 1740-1806," by Maiken Umbach
"German Home Towns: Community, State, and General Estate, 1648-1871," by Mack Walker & James J. Sheehan
"The Barbarian West, 400-1000," by J.M. Wallace-Hadrill
"The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871," by Geoffrey Wawro
"The Thirty Years War," by C.V. Wedgwood
"Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History," by Simon Winder
"Wealth and Taxation in Central Europe: The History and Sociology of Public Finance," by Peter-Christian Witt
"He is the Sun, She is the Moon: Women in Early Modern Germany," by Heide Wunder & Thomas Dunlap
 
Jan 2014
1,989
Regnum Francorum (orientalium) / Germany
#4
Hi all,

I'm a high school history teacher about to start teaching Nazi Germany, and I'm looking for suggestions for books I could read to help me prepare. I'm already halfway through Kershaw's great Hitler biography, and I'm going to read Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich over Christmas. What I'm looking for right now is general, pre-twentieth century, information about Germany, from the medieval age up to the world wars. I like to start my students with a whistle-stop tour of how we arrived at the start of our area of study.

I found two texts that looked good: Iron Kingdom, by Christopher Clark, for a history of Prussia, and the Cambridge Concise History of Germany. I'm looking for guidance now. Are these books any good (one is a little long)? Do I even need a separate book on Prussia to understand German history?

And most importantly, do you have any alternative suggestions?

Thanks,

Martin
Prussia was only one of many German states (although it became during the 19th century the most important German state and leading Germany). Some people say that Germany was prussianized while others say that Prussia was germanized.

I cannot recommend a special on German history that covers the period from the medieval period to WW1 (this alone are more than 1100 years). Moreover the borders of Germany and the concept of German identity changed significantly over these centuries. Moreover German history is not isolated from European history. As you probably know northern Italy was united with Germany until the end of the Holy Roman Empire.

As a start it's always good to have a look at wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Germany
 
Oct 2016
268
India
#5
Hi all,

I'm a high school history teacher about to start teaching Nazi Germany, and I'm looking for suggestions for books I could read to help me prepare. I'm already halfway through Kershaw's great Hitler biography, and I'm going to read Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich over Christmas. What I'm looking for right now is general, pre-twentieth century, information about Germany, from the medieval age up to the world wars. I like to start my students with a whistle-stop tour of how we arrived at the start of our area of study.

I found two texts that looked good: Iron Kingdom, by Christopher Clark, for a history of Prussia, and the Cambridge Concise History of Germany. I'm looking for guidance now. Are these books any good (one is a little long)? Do I even need a separate book on Prussia to understand German history?

And most importantly, do you have any alternative suggestions?

Thanks,

Martin
As a rule of thumb, I find Cambridge's concise histories to be quite good.
 

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