Books: The Kaiser's Lady

A VIEW OF THE SPREE (305 pp.)—Alson J. Smith—John Day ($5.95).

Americans popularly blamed World War I on the blustering German Kaiser and traced his evil aspirations back to Frederick the Great. They need not have looked so far. When he was in his 20s, no one stirred the Kaiser's dreams of empire more than a pretty, blue-eyed American of good family and Protestant piety named Mary Esther Lee. After combing many volumes of letters she sent home from Europe, Alson Smith concluded that this daughter of a rich Manhattan grocer (and his own...

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