This book is a portrait of a city and a work of modern Cultural history. Torgrim Eggen follows the fate of Berlin from the fall of the Kaiser in 1918 to the present day.
In the 20th century, Berlin was the world's focus – from the Revolution through Nazism and the Cold War to a reunited city. There is still no European capital that concerns us more. This book portrays the city's brutal history, but also some of its extraordinary
personalities like Marlene Dietrich, Rosa Luxemburg, Berthold Brecht, Willy Brandt, Albert Speer and David Bowie.
The modern history of Berlin is a tale of many new beginnings, both in politics and in architecture. And the vision for the city is always the same, whether its origins are in the empire, the national socialist or the communist period: to control and overcome the changeability of Berlin and show it off as stable and lasting, indeed, eternal.
From a personal point of view, Torgrim Eggen gives us an insightful and nuanced account of an irresistible city.
‘The spectacular and quaint prevail in this book, but the new journalism style is actually quite fitting to Berlin's temperament and dramatic history. ... It is essentially a well-written and knowledgeable book. … Eggen is one of Norway’s few golden pens, an author who neither is capable of nor willing to write in a boring fashion.’
‘An interesting book, with emphasis on a Western perspective. ... He writes so well and thoroughly about the creation of Bowie's masterpiece ‘Heroes’ (both the song and the album) that tears appear in the corner of my eye.’
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