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Great book but too short!
am 16. April 2007
If only this book were longer. When it arrived I was rather taken aback - just 60 pages? Surely not! What can I learn about the Germans in 60 pages?
Quite a lot, as it turns out. This book launches straight in with a very amusing look at the Germans, giving a brief discussion of their history and how the German nation came to be and then detailing many of the quirks and habits of this fascinating nation. The authors give a few ideas how the Germans have been so successful, particularly in terms of literature and music (Goethe, Bach, Kant) but also show some of the angst and problems that the German nature can cause for the people.
The authors are both German although I wouldn't know that from their writing which is excellent, funny and seems to understand the Brits very well. They are also very able to poke fun at their own country (although they say this isn't something at which Germans are very adept).
With such a short book you can only really get a very brief introduction to German people but it's a very amusing overview and certainly made me think a number of times. We tend to think of the Germans as probably the closest to Brits in terms of personality and nature than other Europeans - this book shows that we might well be wrong in that opinion and it might just help us to understand them more when we visit.
Oh, and if you want a view of the Brits (and a much larger book) I can heartily recommend Kate Fox's "Watching the English".