Rathenau was the type of man who defies the average biographer, and none of the biographies of him that have been written so far have been accepted as in any way satisfactory. Count Kessler, who was intimately associated with the German statesman during the later part of his career, has written a really outstanding book, not only well-informed but thoroughly appreciative without being uncritical. He has not attempted a history of Rathenau's career as a great industrial leader, and this is perhaps the chief weakness of the book. But he has made up for it by a particularly penetrating examination of Rathenau's writings and has made a keen estimate of his personality. Of course the book deals at length with Rathenau as a statesman. Kessler throws considerable light on the obscure matter of the Genoa negotiations and the much-disputed Rapallo Treaty. Taken by and large the book can be confidently described as the authoritative biography.
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