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Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918-1919 by Sebastian Haffner (translated from the German by Georg Rapp; 67,000 words and 16 illustrations)

The masterfully told story of what happened in Germany following its defeat in the first world war: the Kaiser’s exit from the stage, the sailors’ mutiny, the spreading of the revolution and its betrayal by its own chosen socialist leaders. Haffner recounts the murder of Karl Liebknecht and of Rosa Luxemburg — and the deliberate creation of those relentless counter-revolutionary forces that became the nightmare of the Third Reich. More than a brilliant historical study: it has vital lessons for our own day.


“Haffner’s history of the revolution is unrivalled — tight, precise, passionately rational, brilliantly formulated.” —
Profil/Wien

“No-one else has described and analysed the events of 1918/19 that were decisive for the century as well and as convincingly as Sebastian Haffner.” —
Tagespiegel

“For Haffner, the revolution was a social-democratic revolution. That it was nevertheless ultimately suppressed bloodily by social-democratic politicians confirms Haffner’s suspicion that this was a case of betrayal.” —
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (North German Radio)

“Haffner’s book is one of the few that breaks open previously locked doors and shines a light on dark corners of our past.” —
Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

“Sebastian Haffner’s brilliant intellect clarifies contrasts and similarities in situations, motivations and deeds and describes lucidly and dramatically the main lines of the complex developments from September 1918 to January 1919.” —
Dieter Wunderlich

“Those who know Haffner’s method of making the writing of history an inspection of the past motivated by the present, will appreciate this book.” —
zitty/Berlin