Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War
Robert K. Massie (New York: Random House, 1991)
Dreadnought tells the narrative history of the German-British naval competition that was one of the contributing factors to the build-up in international tensions that finally erupted in World War I. Concentrating on the personalities involved, Massie’s book involves the reader in many dramatic episodes as well as giving a strong sense of the main players, something that is often missing from more academic studies, which tend to revolve around names that do not seem to have any personalities attached.
Robert K. Massie (1929 – ) studied U.S. and modern European history at Yale and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. After an initial career as a journalist, Massie took to writing popular histories, especially about Russia, notably the joint biography of Nicholas and Alexandra, which came out in 1969. He was president of the Authors Guild from 1987 – 1991.