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Clark Review Kaiser Wilhelm II Profiles in Power Series Essay

Essay Topic:

A Reaction
Christopher Clarks work, Kaiser Wilhelm II: Profiles in Power Series,
deals with one of the key aspects of twentieth-century Europeâ€"the last of
the imperial rulers of Germany from 1888 to 1918.
Clark details the very interesting story of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the
King of Prussia and emperor of Germany.On one hand, it is a
biographyâ€"placing him as a man of the time leading up to the First World
War, and detailing several (interesting) personal details concerning his
relationships within his family (especially with his father and
grandfather), as well as indications of his personal flaws (especially the
The book is also an intended work of history, detailing the events
surrounding his rein as emperor, especially concerning his role in the
outbreak of WWI (which Clark characterized as relatively minimal, both
because of his desire to avoid war (218), as well as due to his steadily
declining influence by 1914.)It is interesting that Clark does take the
definite stance that Wilhelm was not a so called “war monger” at the time.
To be sure, for the casual reader, the book does not delve into many
of the possibly interesting tidbits concerning the Kaiser’s philosophies,
beliefs, or even details of his life aside from his “duties.”For this
reason, it is difficult to answer the question that Clark poses as to the
“extent” that Wilhelm “can be held responsible for Germany’s drift into
deepening isolation” before the war.For many the lack of personal detail
concerning his philosophy and thinking makes this question difficult to
answer, in spite of Clark’s description of Wilhelm’s apathy concerning the
One of the best things about the book is Clark’s bringing to the
forefront the existence of unanswered questions concerning the Kaiser.

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