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The Election of 1860: "A Campaign Fraught with Consequences"
Michael F. Holt
Progress: 50/272 pages
The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental
John Torpey

I really need to learn to read German

Metternich: Stratege und Visionär - Wolfram Siemann

Last week I decided to make brushing up modern European history a goal for myself this summer, and so far I'm enjoying it immensely. I've already completed two books, two more underway, and I'm making preparations to read at least a half-dozen others. What's been unexpected is the degree to which I find my interests focusing on modern Germany, though this is probably because of its centrality to the era.


I was investigating a possible addition to my TBR stack, though, when I discovered that new biographies of Maria Theresa and Klemens von Metternich were published recently. I have been wanting to read biographies of both figures, and these two books (both of which were written by top-flight historians) are garnering considerable praise.


The only problem is, they're both in German.


Now, according to the German department at the cow college where I matriculated for graduate school I'm able to read the language. What I'm officially qualified to do, though, is different from what I can actually do. Now I could get one or both of these books and plow through them with the help of a German-English dictionary, but if this sounds familiar to you, it's because I'm already planning to do the very same thing to learn how to read Spanish, and while I like a good reading challenge, undertaking two at the same time seems a bit much. Or am I wrong here? Because I would love to be wrong about this.