By Fritz Stern
Winner of the Lionel Trilling Award Nominated for the nationwide e-book Award “A significant contribution to our knowing of a few of the good topics of contemporary eu history—the family among Jews and Germans, among economics and politics, among banking and diplomacy.” —James Joll, the hot York occasions e-book evaluation “I can't compliment this e-book too hugely. it's a paintings of unique scholarship, either distinctive and profound. It restores a buried bankruptcy of background and penetrates, with perception and knowing, essentially the most nerve-racking historic difficulties of recent times.” —Hugh J. Trevor-Roper, London Sunday occasions “[An] awesome e-book, a useful contribution to our realizing of Germany within the moment half the 19th century.” —Stanley Hoffman, Washington put up publication global “One of an important old works of the previous few decades.” —Golo Mann “In some ways this ebook resembles the nice nineteenth-century novels.” —The Economist
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Additional resources for Gold and Iron: Bismark, Bleichroder, and the Building of the German Empire
In this way the sources acquire meaning and prevailing scholarly opinion acquires necessary correction. The literature on Bismarck and on Europe’s history is huge; to this awesome record of scholarship I owe much, as my notes suggest; I am also aware of how much I had to omit, which I regret. In the end one finds that the best letters and the fullest set of documents are partially mute. They take for granted a particular context—shared assumptions, time-bound conventions—which the historian must simultaneously extract from and bring to these voices.
Even in his lifetime it was his vilifiers who magnified his role and power; the elite whom he served preserved a decorous silence. The Bismarcks pointed the way: after thirty years of collaboration, after countless conversations and a voluminous correspondence, Bismarck omitted Bleichröder’s name from the first two volumes of his memoirs. In the third volume, slated for publication only after William II’s death, Bleichröder’s name is mentioned once, as somebody’s emissary. Of course, there was a vast inequality between Bismarck and Bleichröder in life, but that inequality was greatly magnified after their deaths.
In 1803 he opened a Wechselstube, or exchange office, on the Rosenthaler Strasse, a rather remote corner of Berlin. As an entrepôt between West and East, Berlin was always flooded with diverse currencies; within the old Holy Roman Empire a host of currencies circulated, and the French occupation of Berlin that began in 1806 brought an even greater need for exchange facilities. Samuel Bleichröder’s shop also functioned as a Lotterie-Geschäft, that is, as an agency for the sale and redemption of lottery tickets.