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Don't Mention The War: The British and the Germans since 1890

John Ramsden

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History

* An entertaining, informative and readable book about the rivalries between Britain and Germany over the last hundred years

Now in B Format.
An entertaining, informative and readable book about the rivalries between Britain and Germany over the last hundred years

The Times decided in 1891 that 'Germany does not excite in any class among us the slightest feeling of distrust or antipathy' - the zenith of a century in which Britons admired German culture and our monarchy was closely involved with Germany royalty. Yet twenty-five years later began the era of world wars in which Britain and Germany were twice pitted against each other. After 1945, it seemed that Britain would learn to co-exist on happier terms with newly democratic Germany, yet persistent memories of 1940 have slowed that process, hesitations reinforced by the showing of war films on television, chants on the terraces, and populist tabloid gibes. John Ramsden's groundbreaking book looks at every aspect of Anglo-German relations for the last 100 years: from the wars themselves to how they have been seen by the tabloids as re-enacted in subsequent football matches. And he askes 'What is the British problem with Germany?' As Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin once said 'I tries 'ard, but I 'ates 'em'.

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Praise for Don't Mention The War: The British and the Germans since 1890

  • A lucid, funny history of our attitude to the Germans since the Victorian age, encompassing everything from the Battle of the Somme to Fawlty Towers - Dominic Sandbrook, DAILY TELEGRAPH Books of the Year 2006

  • Ramsden's book traces an extraordinary relationship that was central to Europe's 20th century. In 1890 "an Anglo-German war seemed utterly fantastic" - but in 2001, beating Germany 5-1 could turn "perfectly sane people all over England" mad with joy. DON - GUARDIAN

  • Germanophobes and Germanophiles alike will find much to enjoy in this glorious synthesis of anecdotes and prejudices - Dominic Sandbrook, SUNDAY TIMES

  • Ramsden's perambulation through more than a century of inter-state relationships and anecdotes is as amusing as it is enlightening - GLASGOW HERALD

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