Unfazed optimism is the keynote of this celebration of Anglo-German relations”Sucking up to the Germans is no way to remember our Great War heroes, Mr Cameron,” blared a Daily Mail headline on 10 June over a fretful lament by Max Hastings, whose book Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 will be published in September. Hastings deplored that the British government “has not uttered, and apparently does not plan to utter, a word about the virtue of Britain’s cause [in 1914], or the blame that chiefly attaches to Germany for the catastrophe that overtook Europe”. Hastings predicts that Britain will be lucky to “get through” 2014 without David Cameron apologising “to Angela Merkel’s forebears, for ever thinking unkindly of them”, and complains that the Cameron government has succumbed to “political correctness” and is “frightened” of “upsetting today’s Germans”.Amid such signs that next year’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war will be used as an excuse for chauvinism against 21st-century Germans, Miranda Seymour deserves to be hailed for her courage, generosity, imagination and decency. She has spent five years investigating the history of Anglo-German relations in order to celebrate the amity and sympathies shared between the two countries since …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books