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Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

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9780062077325: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
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"Stasiland demonstrates that great, originalreporting is still possible. . . . A heartbreaking, beautifully written book. Aclassic." --Claire Tomalin, Guardian "Books ofthe Year"

AnnaFunder delivers a prize-winning and powerfully rendered account of theresistance against East Germany's communist dictatorship in these harrowing, personal tales of life behind the Iron Curtain--and, especially, of life underthe iron fist of the Stasi, East Germany's brutal state security force. In thetradition of Frederick Taylor's The Berlin Wall andPhilip Gourevitch's WeWish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families, Funder's Stasiland isa masterpiece of investigative reporting, written with novelistic vividness andthe compelling intensity of a universal, real-life story.

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Anna Funder's penetrating and dispassionate Stasiland really begins with one significant date: the year 1989. The Berlin Wall falls and the history of a country that had become a microcosm of the Cold War is changed irrevocably. With the hated symbol of the enforced division between East and West reduced to rubble, the two Germanys--East and West--are able to reunite; grey, depressed East Germany becomes a memory.

After the initial euphoria, the change was hard for the world to accept, but it was both exhilarating and unsettling for the denizens of the Soviet bloc state, who had lived under the brutal, paranoid regime of the secret police, the dreaded Stasi of the title. For the inhabitants of East Germany, there were some stark statistics: one in 50 East Germans had informed on a fellow citizen, and human beings behaved in fashions unthinkable just the space of a wall away.

The amazing stories that Anna Funder tells in Stasiland bring to life with extraordinary vividness both the dark and the more human sides of life in the former East Germany: a young girl who could have started World War III, the man who laid down the line that became the Wall. These and a hundred other tales (from both the recent past and the present, as Berlin still struggles with the legacy of history) make for a highly unusual book, the final effect of which is as life-affirming and positive as the destruction of the Wall must have been for those who watched. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"An appealing blend of investigative and reflective reporting, with the narrative drive of powerful human-interest stories. . . . There is no denying Funder's journalistic talents."

"By turns funny, heartbreaking, and stirring . . . [Funder] tells the story of the collapse of a way of life with wit, style, and sympathy."

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781847083357: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

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ISBN 10: 1847083358 ISBN 13: 9781847083357
Publisher: Granta, 2011
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9781862076556: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Granta..., 2004
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9780143792529: Stasiland

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9781862075801: Stasiland

Granta..., 2003
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9781459662230: Stasiland: Insight Text Guide

ReadHo..., 2013
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