Well I'm relieved I finally finished reading this. Despite a very interesting & good writing, it's still a heavy weight book to go through, especially for new German history reader. Midway I realized that I could've help myself more by making notes on the peopple & time frame, etc. But then perhaps I'll think of it more as a chore & won't even manage to finish. The notes will be helpful considering Clark's way of spiraling through the history, which is wonderful as it can cover more elements and its impact to each other, but honestly it's rather difficult for me to differentiate between the Frederickses. Good thing I'm not such a stickler for details & more concerned about the general idea of what was happening. In this case this book actually worth 5stars and the difficulty all comes down to my lack of general knowledge about this subject. Perhaps I'll re-read it after I go through things that specially attracted me, such as Frederick the Great, Bismarck, The Great Elector, Weimar republic, Roman Empire and of course Habsburg family. For now I might actually go forward w/ Third Reich first. Let's see, perhaps I'll be distracted by some light detective story.*Additional note*I was pondering on part of the reason this book was written, a rebuttal on the thesis that Nazi happened because of Prussia; the millitaristic culture, etc. ; which leads to its dissolution after the WWII. I'm thinking isn't it part paranoid & wishful thinking on the Allies part? As if they were saying, we're not Prussian, we don't have this urge for aggrandizement; therefore we are safe, there won't be any new Hitler sprout up among us, history will not repeat itself. Which I think is rather lame. Sure, Hitler looks up to Frederick the Great & use Prussia extensively on his propaganda, but would we also annihilate mango were it be his favourite fruit? As for the safety feeling that another psychopath will not turn up to be a leader among you because you think your community is not millitant enough, that's also hogwash. I don't think there's any community absolutely safe from such leader, being smug & righteous will not help avoiding it. Anyway, a goverment can do equally outrageous things even without a Hitler on the helm. Hasn't enough example has happened until now?