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Berlin (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. November 2001

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Founded in the 13th century as a trading post on a windswept Prussian plain, Berlin was something of an accidental capital. It was selected by Chancellor Bismarck after Germany's unification in 1871, in part because the choice of any other city--Munich, say, or Frankfurt--would have provoked terrible regional rivalries. As it was, the rest of Germany simply looked down on the hinterland Berliners as, in historian David Clay Large's words, "parvenus whose civilization was hardly more substantial than the Prussian sands on which their town was built."

The people who soon swarmed to Berlin from all over Germany--and elsewhere in Europe--put their scorn for the city aside, and they turned it, writes Large, "into a hothouse of modernity, a place that pursued change like a drug." That change becomes a dominant theme as Large charts the rapid growth of Berlin in the early 1900s from regional backwater to a leading European center of socialist politics and the arts. Berlin's avant-garde culture and freewheeling atmosphere made it a target of the Nazi leadership, which put in motion grandiose schemes of social and civil engineering intended to remake it into an imperial city the likes of which the world had never known. Devastated, instead, by World War II and divided by the victorious Allies for four decades afterward, Berlin was, until recently, gray and unattractive compared with many other German cities--and, writes Large, that suited many Germans who "harbored the conviction that Berlin, the former Nazi capital, had no business being pretty or glamorous."

In Berlin, David Large brings the city's recent past to life. Though lacking the literary flair that makes Alexandra Richie's wider-ranging history of Berlin, Faust's Metropolis, so readable, it stands as a substantial contribution to the historical literature. --Gregory McNamee -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


A narrative history of one of the 20th century's most loved-and unloved-cities, "Berlin" is as vibrant, and colourful as the great German metropolis itself. In the political history of the past century, no city has played a more prominent - though often disastrous - role than Berlin. At the same time, Berlin has also been a dynamic centre of artistic and intellectual innovation. If Paris was the "Capital of the Nineteenth Century," Berlin was to become the signature city for the next hundred years. Once a symbol of modernity, in the 1930s it became associated with injustice and the abuse of power. After 1945, it became the iconic city of the cold war. Since the fall of the Wall, Berlin has again come to represent humanity's aspirations for a new beginning, tempered by caution deriving from the traumas of the recent past. David Clay Large's history of Berlin is framed by the two German unifications of 1871 and 1990. Between these two events several themes run like a thread through the city's history: a persistent inferiority complex; a distrust among many ordinary Germans, and the national leadership of the "unloved city's" electric atmosphere, fast tempo, and tradition of unruliness; its status as a magnet for immigrants, artists, intellectuals and the young; and the opening up of social, economic and ethnic divisions as sharp as the one created by the Wall.

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HEN GERMANY BECAME UNIFIED in 1871 following the defeat of France by a Prussian-led coalition of German states, Berlin was transformed from a provincial royal seat into the capital of one of the most powerful nations in Europe. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 11 Rezensionen
24 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fantastic! 10. Dezember 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Any fan of the city must read this book. This history of Berlin from its time as the Prussian capital to today covers such varied topics as music under the Nazis (I learned some things about Richard Strauss and Herbert von Karajan I hadn't known before!), Wall escape attempts, and the problems of reunification, among others. It's liberally sprinkled with examples of the famous Berliner sense of humor. A great read for the novice or the experienced Berlinophile. My one major grumble: the Cold War era section covers the western half of the city far more extensively than the eastern half. I would have liked to see more about life on the "other side". Minor quibble: being a first edition, it suffers from a very noticeable number of typos. Still a fantastic introduction -- or reintroduction -- to the city on the Spree.
25 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Overrated in every way 12. Februar 2002
Von P. Geyer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Large can certainly write a smooth and engaging narrative. But that's about all that I can recommend about this book. Large's caustic and cynical view of Berlin and Berliners is can be extremely off-putting, bordering at times on the offensive. I found his particular comment that the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church looked better after the carpet bombing of World War II than before to be extremley offensive, especially in light of how many thousands of Berlin's civilians were killed during that particular episode of "architectural improvement."
Add to this that the book seems to lack any sort of historical context, placing artistic, social and political movements apart from similar movements that were sweeping through other European cities of the time, and I find it very difficult to recommend this book to anybody.
8 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
....Berlin said best.... 23. Mai 2002
Von Steve Newman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Once again David C. Large proposes that college required reading and a sense of humor can be assimilated. Stating that the "Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church looked better after the carpet bombing of World War II than before" is comical, yet sadly true! Large educates the reader about Europe's most captivating city, Berlin! He manages to not only remind us of its beauty, but that it is a romantisch city that need not be known only as the former Nazi capital. A consistent and entertaining book, an asset to history itself. Steve Newman
There are other books that describe Weimar Berlin better; he devotes too much time to describing the ... 16. März 2015
Von M. Heartsworn - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I have mixed feelings about the book Berlin. The first half is rather disappointing. There are other books that describe Weimar Berlin better; he devotes too much time to describing the national politics before WWI, and I found a book about Berlin without a single map annoying. The quality of the photographs, in general, is disappointing. In addition, the book has no bibliography, perhaps because it would have made a very large book too unwieldy. But once Hitler appears, the book soars. Throughout, Large has a remarkable ability to describe events precisely and coherently. His descriptions of the chaos on Nov. 9 1918, the Kapp Putsch, and numerous other events are perhaps the best and most succinct I've read. He also has marvelous turns of phrases; for example, "The sightings (of Hitler) continued for decades and with a frequency that rivaled those of the Virgin Mary and Elvis Presley." Definitely not 5; at times, 3. I gave it 4.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An excelent study on a fascinating city. 23. März 2005
Von Kyle Johnson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Though at first the size of the book seems to be huge, Large infused every page of this wonderful novel with sensory rich descriptions that helped the reader feel what life in Berlin was like during the city's many different stages. Clearly an expert in this field, Large provides amusing and interesting details about famous landmarks, areas, and figures throughout the cities turbulant history. Having read the book only weeks before my planned trip to the German capital, I now look at the book as an indepth tour guide of the city. I got goosebumps sometimes even seeing a street sign named after an important figure in the city's history who after reading the book, I was able to recall the impact this person had on creating the atmosphere of the vibrant city of modern Berlin, now one of my very favorite in all the world.
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