In the introduction to his 1915 book Die Hohenzollern und ihr Werk, Otto Hintze ruefully quoted an Englishman's observation that, “Prussian history is endlessly boring because it speaks so much of war and so little of revolution.” As the “Great War” entered its second year, and with Germany's hopes for a quick and decisive victory fading, Hintze saw history repeating itself. Like Frederick the Great's Prussia, he wrote, “The German Reich, under a Hohenzollern Kaiser, [now] battles for its existence against a world of enemies.” Since the beginning of the war, Entente propaganda had mobilized the home front by depicting the war as an epochal struggle against the enemy of all civilized men: the savage “Hun,” the jack-booted, spike-helmeted despoiler of innocent Belgium. The crudity of this propaganda caricature aside, its power to persuade nevertheless drew on a widespread conviction that the story of war constituted the core of German history and that the disease of “militarism” was a peculiarly German deformation of the national psyche. In response to the censure of their nation's enemies, the German intellectuals rejected that diagnosis while defending the role war had played in their nation's history. Published in the Kölnische Zeitung on October 4, 1914, the hastily drafted manifesto “To the Civilized World!” was endorsed (if not read) by ninety-three of the Second Reich's most prominent scholars, scientists, philosophers, and theologians, including Peter Behrens, Lujo Brentano, Adolph von Harnack, Max Lenz, and Gustav von Schmoller. They vehemently repudiated the distortion of Germany's history: “Were it not for German militarism, German civilization would long since have been extirpated.” “The word militarism,” the liberal jurist Gerhard Anschütz defiantly declared in 1915, “which is being used throughout the world as a swear word against us, let it be for us a badge of honor.” As Hintze, Anschütz, and their contemporaries understood the course of German unification (and Germany's rise as a great power under Prussian leadership), the modern German nation-state owed its very existence to what Hintze called “the monarchical-military factor.” If we are to advance our understanding of how a nationalist discourse obsessed with foreign and domestic threats supported a foreign policy that ignited two world wars in the space of twenty-five years, we must be prepared, I believe, to re-think the “Sonderweg thesis,” not in its relation to the putative immaturity of German liberalism or an atavistic predilection for autocratic rule, but as it was rooted in German military culture. The books under discussion in this essay reframe the militarism/“Sonderweg” debate by examining the unique connection between modern German visions of the nation and the waging of war as revealed in the experience of the First World War. Representing the maturation of the new intellectual and cultural history of war, they pose two fundamental questions: What kind of war did the Second Reich's military, political, and intellectual leadership envision that would “complete” the German nation? And how did they define Germany's enemies?