Berlin. A Portrait of its History, Politics, Architecture, and Society.

MACDONOGH, GILES.

ISBN 10: 0312185375 / ISBN 13: 9780312185374
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New York, St. Martin's Press, 1998. With plates. Cloth. With dustjacket. Hardbound. 8vo. 540 pp. (A very good copy). Berlin showed in its various incarnations: trading town, royal residence, capital of the new German nation, the garrison town, capital of the Third Reich, industrial city, etc. A fascinating study of the history, sociology, architecture, food, crime, and theater of one of Europe's most intriguing cities -- on the eve of its return as the capital of the Unified Germany. After more than 50 years in limbo, Germany's greatest city is about to become its capital once again. Berlin was founded by the Germans in the thirteenth century, but its seven-hundred-year history is little known outside Germany. British and American writers have concentrated chiefly on Weimar and the Third Reich and not on the city's earlier and more positive legacy. In this book Giles MacDonogh redresses the balance. He shows Berlin's history in its various incarnations: the trading town, the royal residence, the garrison town, and the industrial city; the capital of the new German nation and the cosmopolitan city of the early twentieth century; the captial of the Third Reich; the divided city after 1945; and finally Berlin as it is today. (booknr: 49416). Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: A fascinating study of the history, sociology, architecture, food, crime, and theater of one of Europe's most intriguing cities--on the eve of its return as the capital of the Unified Germany. Includes two 8-page photo inserts.

Rezension: Giles MacDonogh intends to a fill a void in the historical documentation of the former capital city of the German empire and the eventual capital of unified Germany. Instead of presenting yet another scholarly account of the city's past, he instead explores the spirit of the city, delving into themes that convey "something of the colour of the great city and the variety of life that has been lived there in the past seven and a half centuries." His defiance of traditional historical narrative may be well intended, but it runs the risk of creating a book that does not contribute to any historical dialogue whatsoever.

The seven broadly titled chapters of Berlin ("Ich bin ein Berliner," "Berlin Itineraries," "Berlin Life," etc.) present a thematically arranged, telegraphic litany of people, places, and events in Berlin's history, interspersed frequently with personal anecdotes, that never quite develops any particular issue at length or leads to any compelling observations about Berlin's historical past or its future. "It is hard to think of a city which has suffered so much," he concludes. "Harder still to think of another which has proved so clearly that it is inextinguishable." Yet, of the city's many characteristics, suffering and survivalism are not among those which predominate MacDonogh's analysis. For such an account, one best await the English translation of Wolgang Ribbe's Berlin--Geschichte, mentioned by MacDonogh himself in his preface as a logical starting point for a more comprehensive study of the former and future German capital. --Bertina Loeffler

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MacDonogh, Giles.
Verlag: St. Martin's Press, New York (1998)
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Buchbeschreibung St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Sehr gut erhalten. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Guter Umschlag. 540 p. Size: 920 g. Artikel-Nr. 1998MG540

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MacDONOGH, GILES
Verlag: New York, St Martin's Press (1997)
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Buchbeschreibung New York, St Martin's Press, 1997. Original publisher's black paper-covered boards, gilt title spine, pictorial dustjacket, thick large 8vo: map on endpapers, xx, 540pp., illustrated, list illustrations, acknowledgements, chronology, epilogue, notes & references, index. Artikel-Nr. 131034

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