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Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil…

Germany: Memories of a Nation (2014)

by Neil MacGregor

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Having seen the excellent British Museum exhibition by the same name, this book didn't really discuss anything I hadn't already seen at the exhibition, but it definitely served as a reminder of the depth of the themes covered in the exhibition. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Jul 20, 2017 |
Another wonderful book from MacGregor. He goes from Germany's beginnings as many small princedoms to one great nation today. Like all MacGregor's other books he traces the history in objects from paintings to statues and many flags. He looks at the history of such diverse people, as Germany has, with great care and compassion. He does not excuse any actions but he helps the reader to remember that the people of Germany are human too. He discusses what made Germany from Luther making one German language to the women who rebuilt it after the Second World War. MacGregor's prose, as always, is easy to read and the reader gets pulled into the narrative of a nation.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library. ( )
  lrainey | May 4, 2016 |
Please read my review at the New York Journal of Books:

http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/germany-memories-nation ( )
  kswolff | Dec 7, 2015 |
Prague, printing, princes, porcelain rhinos. Capacious and sympathetic cataloguing of our vast and varied, and sometimes overlooked, German culture. As exhibited, a little pokily, in the inner courtyard of the British Museum last winter. ( )
  eglinton | Nov 30, 2015 |
Having been to Berlin twice in the last few years, I find myself constantly fascinated by what has been achieved by the country and the city; what would it have been without the devastation of two major wars. Especially when one remembers the country was travelling with the brakes on until the wall fell and the country became re-united after 1989; surely it must have lessons to teach the rest of the world. I have very much enjoyed this book as it lets you start with the chapters most closely aligned with one’s interest and then move on from there finding new surprises and pleasures all the time.

In designing a book such as this, it is a challenge to match the text to the lavish illustrations without having to jump all over the book. In this respect the editor has done an excellent job. Highly recommended. ( )
  listohan | Mar 14, 2015 |
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Voor Barry Cook, curator van het British Museum, veelzijdig talent, collega en raadgever, sine quo non
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0241008336, Hardcover)

From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no other. For the past 140 years, Germany has been the central power in continental Europe. Twenty-five years ago a new German state came into being. How much do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now understand themselves? Neil MacGregor argues that uniquely for any European country, no coherent, over-arching narrative of Germany's history can be constructed, for in Germany both geography and history have always been unstable. Its frontiers have constantly floated. Konigsberg, home to the greatest German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, is now Kaliningrad, Russia; Strasbourg, in whose cathedral Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany's greatest writer, discovered the distinctiveness of his country's art and history, now lies within the borders of France. For most of the five hundred years covered by this book Germany has been composed of many separate political units, each with a distinct history. And any comfortable national story Germans might have told themselves before 1914 was destroyed by the events of the following thirty years. German history may be inherently fragmented, but it contains a large number of widely shared memories, awarenesses and experiences; examining some of these is the purpose of this book. Beginning with the fifteenth-century invention of modern printing by Gutenberg, MacGregor chooses objects and ideas, people and places which still resonate in the new Germany - porcelain from Dresden and rubble from its ruins, Bauhaus design and the German sausage, the crown of Charlemagne and the gates of Buchenwald - to show us something of its collective imagination. There has never been a book about Germany quite like it. Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002. He was Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002. His previous books include A History of the World in 100 Objects and Shakespeare's Restless World, now between them translated into more than a dozen languages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:04 -0400)

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