Bismark, A Life
William Wohlforth, Daniel Webster Professor of Government

just finished Jonathan Steinberg’s Bismarck: A Life, the latest in a long line of biographies of that great but flawed Prussian statesman. It is one of the best accounts of leadership and grand strategy in print. Smoothly written but well researched, the book takes you through the incredible story of Bismarck’s grand strategy on three related but separate chessboards: Prussian politics, German politics, and European politics. Steinberg gently but authoritatively resolves many of the historical controversies surrounding this extraordinary figure. He does not hide the flaws, the odious prejudices, the weaknesses, but the undeniable strategic acumen comes through. Forget those airport books about strategy. This is the real deal.