Mary Fulbrook attempts the impossible in this slender book-- to review, and interpret, the events of the last thousand years in complex central Europe. She succeeds admirably, providing a concise (as promised) summary of German history from the Medaeval era up through the "revolution" of 1989. Having previously read only specialized accounts of late 19th and 20th century history by V. R. Berghahn and others, Fulbrook provides the needed context to interpret these more modern events. The book also contains a moderate number of interesting plates, mainly reproductions of contemporary engravings and political cartoons. The maps, however, while required to correlate events with their geographical location, are not of the highest quality. I was helped by following along in a historical atlas as I read the book (Putzger historischer Weltatlas, Ausgabe mit Register, by Walter Leisering). However, this criticism is minor and does not negate the overall success of Fulbrook's attempt to make a readable overview of the complexities of German history.