Preface to the English edition; Preface to the German edition; 1. The accession; 2. The first state visits; 3. The Kaiser and his mother; 4. An ominous family quarrel; 5. The young Kaiser: a sketch drawn from nature; 6. First steps in foreign affairs; 7. The pillars of imperial power; 8. The domination of the Bismarcks; 9. The Bismarck crisis begins; 10. The Kaiser, the Chancellor and the Kartell; 11. Constitutional conflicts; 12. Bismarck's fall from power; 13. The haphazard transition: from the Bismarcks to the New Course; 14. In Bismarck's footsteps: the conduct of foreign policy under the New Course; 15. The dualism of power; 16. The fall of the Court Generals; 17. The School Bill crisis and the fragmentation of power; 18. Dynastic diplomacy; 19. The rude awakening; 20. The predictable disaster: Wilhelm II and the 'public soul' of Germany; 21. Caprivi's dismissal; 22. Head of the family; 23. The Kaiser and the 'Newest Course'; 24. An enemy of the people; 25. Wilhelm and world politics; 26. Great Britain and the spectre of encirclement; 27. Endgame: the breakthrough to decisive personal power; 28. Personal Monarchy: Wilhelm II at the summit of power; 29. The Kaiser, art and architecture; 30. The challenge: from continental policy to Weltpolitik; 31. The Kaiser and England; 32. Wilhelm and the birth of the German battle fleet; 33. 'Young Germany, your Kaiser!' or what was wrong with Wilhelm II?; List of archival sources; Select bibliography; Index.
The most detailed account ever written of the first half of Kaiser Wilhelm II's reign.
John C. G. Roehl is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sussex. His many previous publications include The Kaiser and his Court (1994) which was awarded the Wolfson History Prize as well as the two other volumes of his biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II - Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888 (Cambridge, 1998) and Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile, 1900-1941 (Cambridge, 2014).
Review of the hardback: '... his scholarship is profound and beyond
reproach. This biography of the last German Kaiser is a monument
not only to its mercurial subject, but also to a highly distinctive
academic career.' The Times Literary Supplement
Review of the hardback: 'This biography is definitive by being exhaustive. ... This is a wonderful example of scholarship and hard work'. Contemporary Reviews
"[Roehl's] scholarship is profound and beyond reproach." - Times Literary Supplement
"...This authoritative tome based on more than 20 years of scholarly research represents the second installment of Roehl's meticulously detailed biography of Germanyas Kaiser Wilhelm II. Highly recommended." - Choice, June 2005
"...truly an extraordinary accomplishment, one representing the capstone of a lifetime of research and thinking about Wilhelm II and Germany." - H-German, Kelly McFall, Newman University