Rachel Chrastil is a professor of history at Xavier University and the author of Organizing for War- France 1870-1914, The Siege of Strasbourg and How to Be Childless- A History and Philosophy of Life without Children.
Compelling, illuminating ... Chrastil's compassionate and
thought-provoking history does justice to both sides of this
legacy, the great statesman's achievements tempered with their
Superb on the human consequences of war. It is ravishing in its evocations of wartime life ... [the] prose is crystal clear.
An extraordinary story too little known in Britain ... Chrastil addresses the story with a modern eye, especially for issues of gender and civilian victimhood. She displays considerable knowledge... The book [offers] fascinating details about the conflict.
Vivid, commendable ... Chrastil excels in providing vivid descriptions of military operations and their impact on ordinary soldiers and civilians ... brings these events to light in a vivid way. Her book is likely to become the standard account of the war in English.
A most engaging book, distinguished by sharp insight, powerful characterization and a strong narrative flow. It is the best modern account of the war and deserve to stand with Sir Michael Howard's classic study of 1961.
*Wall Street Journal*
Elegantly written, marvellously readable ... Bismarck's War is very much worth reading as a lively and effective account of a largely forgotten past conflict.
*Times Literary Supplement*
Engrossing narrative history ... The mosaic of glimpses into the human hopes and tragedies of the Franco-Prussian War leaves one thinking long after the last page.
This is an impressive work, fluent, wide-ranging, vivid in its use of sources, and central to an understanding of Europe's subsequent history.
A fresh and compelling history of the most important European war between Waterloo and World War I. In rich and engaging detail, she shows how it laid much of the foundation for the wars of the twentieth century, even as it was seen at the time, and subsequently remembered, as a relatively conventional conflict. A tour-de-force.
*David A. Bell, Princeton University*
Bismarck's War brings the Franco-Prussian War to life through the words and deeds of participants both on and off the battlefield. Rachel Chrastil's fascinating examination of the conflict compellingly narrates its military and political dimensions, and it puts the war in a global context, emphasizing its human cost and the international response to the humanitarian crisis it created. An engrossing, compassionate, and critical interrogation of a decisive historical event.
*Carolyn J. Eichner, author of The Paris Commune*