Germany played a key role in 20th-century history but not of course always a beneficial one. This account opens in 1918, at the end of four years of bloody warfare, incipient revolution in Germany, and determination on the part of the Allies to neutralize Germany and make her pay. Since the German army was on the ropes but not on the floor, neutralization failed; and in the end, after the embitterment of the international relations, reparations were effectively dropped. Another world war - this time a war of racial annihilation - eventually led to Germany's emasculation and occupation; until of course the exigencies of another, colder war urged both the Allies and the Soviets to readmit their respective Germanies to the world community. The end of the Cold War provided the opportunity for Germany's reunification and she stands once again as a dominant state in Europe. This history, based largely on "Germany since 1800", provides an introduction to the course of German history in the period, focusing on central issues of interpretation and reporting the work of key scholars in the field.