In a work based on new archival, press, and literary sources, the author revises the picture of German imperialism as being the brainchild of a Machiavellian Bismarck or the "conservative revolutionaries" of the twentieth century. Instead, Fitzpatrick argues for the liberal origins of German imperialism, by demonstrating the links between nationalism and expansionism in a study that surveys the half century of imperialist agitation and activity leading up to the official founding of Germany's colonial empire in 1884.
Matthew P. Fitzpatrick lives in Adelaide, Australia and is a lecturer in international history at Flinders University. He has published on German liberalism, nationalism, comparative genocide and on German cultural history. He has been a DAAD visiting postgraduate researcher at the University of Munster in Germany and has also taught at the University of New South Wales, the University of Paderborn and the University of Newcastle.