Faust's Metropolis : A History of Berlin

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9780002158961: Faust's Metropolis : A History of Berlin

Unique in scope and scholarship, this landmark history of Berlin presents enthralling, encyclopedic coverage of this ever-changing city, a vivid social portrait of its citizens, and a thorough evaluation of its political and cultural legacy. 33 photos & maps.

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Review:

An ambitious undertaking, Faust's Metropolis : A History of Berlin aims to chronicle the history of Germany through the microcosm of its most dramatic city. Alexandra Richie's thousand page tome spans from the time of Nero to Helmut Kohl. It is an encyclopedic description of the Schicksal Stadt Deutschlands--the City of German Destiny--filled with the politics of rulers and the ideology of artists.

Richie doesn't romanticize Berlin; early on, she invokes Goethe's view of the city as bourgeois, brash, and onerous. "Like the metropolis in Faust it has always been a rather shabby place," Richie comments. "It is neither an ancient gem like Rome, nor an exquisite beauty like Prague, nor a geographical marvel like Rio. It was formed not by the gentle, cultured hand which made Dresden or Venice but was wrenched from the unpromising landscape by sheer hard work and determination." By placing her historical account in a world-encompassing perspective, the culture described in Faust's Metropolis comments on the whole of Germany and its people.

The author is most eloquent in describing the recent history of the city. As a resident during its divided years, she describes Berlin as the ultimate "border city," on the frontline of the dueling Weltanschauungs of the Cold War. Her tone is familiar in describing the changing face of the city, and her enthusiasm evident as the book moves into the modern era. Filled with the insights of its unique and myriad residents, Faust's Metropolis recounts Berlin's culture, providing the reader with a thorough history and authoritative analysis.

About the Author:

Alexandra Richie wrote this book while a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She has lived and worked in both East and West Berlin and in the unified capital, and wrote her Oxford doctorate on the history of the city. Her family has been linked to Berlin since the fourteenth century. She is currently researching and writing on German-Russian history. This is her first book.

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Book Description Harper Collins Publishers, London, 1998. Hard Cover. Book Condition: F-. Dust Jacket Condition: VG+. First Edition. F-/VG+. 8vo. original black boards gilt (corner of a few early leaves creased) in dustwrapper (price-clipped, a little rippled); pp. xx, 1108 (last blank), with maps & illustrations. Heavy item (1.65kgs), additional postage may be required. A near fine copy. Bookseller Inventory # 019148

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