A young British historian, now teaching in the United States, presents a non-German view of the perennial question "What is German?" Part conventional history from the end of the eighteenth century to the present, part clever insights into this history. James considers as crucial the role of economic power as an ingredient in German nationalism and argues that that component will have a decisive part in shaping the future of the two Germanies. He rejects the notion of a special path in German history, but implicit in his analysis is a worry about German identity and stability in the future. An uneven and pleasantly unpredictable book.