The King's Finest: A Social and Bureaucratic Profile of Prussia's General Officers, 1871-1914

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The King's Finest exposes the social roots of the generalcy and defines the major factors, both social and military, in a successful career. Hughes places the generalcy in its social context and demonstrates how the entire military structure was designed to preserve an exclusive social homogeneity. He shows exactly how the Prussian army selected, trained, and promoted these preferred types of men to its highest positions. Hughes' evidence suggests that the most fundamental group characteristic of these men was their strong, constant ties to the state apparatus rather than enduring connections with landed interests, industrial circles, or business pressure groups.