Latest Issue

The Prussians are coming

Troops in Afghanistan and a shaky eurozone have left Germany searching for ways to redefine itself. Can the militaristic values of the old kingdom of Prussia fill the gap?

By Roger Boyes   February 2011

Those were the days: “The proclamation of Prussian king Wilhelm I as Emperor of Germany at Versailles in 1871,” by Anton von Werner

When politicians visit the troops in Afghanistan, their schedules and speeches are adapted to the relentless rhythm of 24-hour TV news. Although they may be sweating buckets under their body armour, they know that a calm, statesmanlike soundbite is the essence of their trip—the cartilage that connects combat, injury and death in a distant land to the voters at home. But when Angela Merkel paid a visit to dusty Kunduz province in December, her address to the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect