This striking biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II is the most penetrating study to date of his development and personality, as well as an important contribution to our understanding of the crucial period in history that bears his name, `Wilhelmine Germany'. A skilful, psychoanalytically informed analysis of the Kaiser's character, the book shows how the powerful leader of Germany's `Second Reich' became the slave of public opinion - restless, impulsive, and easily swayed by flattery or by those with stronger wills. It reveals a man both anxiously insecure and brashly arrogant, flamboyant and confident in public, yet vacillating and ineffective in his political decisions.
Despite his political ineptitude, however, Wilhelm II was one of the mostsuccessful and beloved symbolic leaders of modern times.
Professor Kohut argues that, in this nationalistic age, the new German nation wanted to see itself as it saw its Kaiser - strong, self-assured, and surrounded by pomp and splendour.