This first volume of a major reassessment of the last five centuries of German history deals with that age of German history which had the widest effect on the rise of modern Western civilization. Against the background of medieval culture, the author shows the origins of Luther's religion and the growth of various Protestant churches, as well as the subsequent restoration of the Roman Catholic Church. The history of the religious movements of the Reformation and the Counter Reformation is closely co-ordinated with the great transformation simultaneously taking place in the social, economic, and intellectual institutions of Europe. Included are detailed discussions of the effects of the Black Death, the rise of the cities, Luther's social ethics, The Thirty Years' War, and the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
"[A] masterly account of the dramatic, tragic and often shameful history of Germany in the most recent age, which will probably become one of the most widely read of Holborn's works."--The New York Times Book Review
"At a time when most historians are devoting their energies primarily to small segments of our past, it is heartening to have a person of Professor Holborn's stature present us with his interpretation of the sweep of history and of a country whose impact on many phases of Western civilization has been highly significant."--H. J. Grimm, American Historical Review
"Dr. Holborn is to be congratulated for his emphasis on the socioeconomic factors in German history. This is the first major work in English on the subject in which adequate attention is given to various facets of German historical development and particularly to economic factors."--L.L. Snyder, Annals of the American Academy
"The work is persuasive because it evinces the author's first-hand knowledge of the country and its culture. . . . Wisdom, serenity, and compassion as well as great historical intelligence and perspicacity have molded it."--Fritz Stern, The Yale Review
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Hajo Holborn: