A skillful and intelligent questioning of current interpretations of the development of modern Germany. The revisionist impulse at times seems to triumph over evidence and plausibility, but the challenge to received opinion is valuable. For example: " . . . Germany's 'aggressiveness' against international order may be explained as plausibly by the nature of that order as by any peculiar characteristics of the Germans. Even Germany's Nazi episode may be seen less as the consequence of some inherent flaw in German civilization, some autonomous national cancer developing according to its own inner rhythm, than of the intense pressures put upon Germany from outside." A book that seeks controversy - and succeeds.