Rachel ChrastilSep 17, 2023
The Franco-Prussian War and the Making of Modern Europe
Basic Books 2023
Among the conflicts that convulsed Europe during the nineteenth century, none was more startling and consequential than the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Deliberately engineered by Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the war succeeded in shattering French supremacy, deposing Napoleon III, and uniting a new German Empire. But it also produced brutal military innovations and a precarious new imbalance of power that together set the stage for the devastating world wars of the next century.
In Bismarck's War: The Franco-Prussian War and the Making of Modern Europe (Basic Book, 2023), historian Rachel Chrastil chronicles events on the battlefield in full, while also showing in intimate detail how the war reshaped and blurred the boundaries between civilian and soldier as the fighting swept across France. The result is the definitive history of a transformative conflict that changed Europe, and the history of warfare, forever.