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Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country

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A provocative and entertaining exploration of the country that Britons love to hate by one of our most respected journalists. Emerging from a collection of disparate city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democ A provocative and entertaining exploration of the country that Britons love to hate by one of our most respected journalists. Emerging from a collection of disparate city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democracy is undermined from its heart, Germany stands as a bulwark for decency and stability. Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a searching and entertaining exploration of the country many in the West still love to hate. Raising important questions for our post-Brexit landscape, Kampfner asks why Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while Britain still languishes in wartime nostalgia and fails to tackle contemporary challenges. Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Why the Germans Do It Better is a rich and witty portrait of an eternally fascinating country.


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A provocative and entertaining exploration of the country that Britons love to hate by one of our most respected journalists. Emerging from a collection of disparate city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democ A provocative and entertaining exploration of the country that Britons love to hate by one of our most respected journalists. Emerging from a collection of disparate city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democracy is undermined from its heart, Germany stands as a bulwark for decency and stability. Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a searching and entertaining exploration of the country many in the West still love to hate. Raising important questions for our post-Brexit landscape, Kampfner asks why Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while Britain still languishes in wartime nostalgia and fails to tackle contemporary challenges. Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Why the Germans Do It Better is a rich and witty portrait of an eternally fascinating country.

30 review for Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    this is a modern essay/book looking at modern Germany as it reaches its 150th anniversary in 2021 and how it has had to cope with post war rebuilding and reunification in 1990 and how the German nation has reacted and dealt with different issues. well worth reading and get a balanced view.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eliska Herinkova

    I have loved this book since the first pages. Despite me spending the majority of my life in continental Europe, all I knew about Germany was the general information. This book provides a great overview of Germany, especially since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Explains the German position, nature, and attitude to life. Compares, understands, and analyses. I found the comparisons with the UK especially helpful. Some people might see this book as slightly controversial and might not be fond of it I have loved this book since the first pages. Despite me spending the majority of my life in continental Europe, all I knew about Germany was the general information. This book provides a great overview of Germany, especially since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Explains the German position, nature, and attitude to life. Compares, understands, and analyses. I found the comparisons with the UK especially helpful. Some people might see this book as slightly controversial and might not be fond of it as it sometimes appeared to be critical of England, however, the amount was just right to hopefully don’t offend anyone. Other than that, a wonderfully written catchy book, which provides a lot of information and explains the journey Germany took since the reunification.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Igor Zurimendi

    Enjoyable and rich in information: happily doesn't belabour comparisons to Brexit Britain.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roberto Bago

    I like it as it gives me a good feeling of the society that I live as a foreigner, especially about east and west and the contemporary history of Germany, however, I feel that he was a bit bias regarding Germany, as he lived outside of Germany, like so many people who live outside the country, has kind of good feeling about his homeland over, the title was kind of differen about the content, but recommend it

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz Lukomski

    My previous view of Germany was built on scraps of knowledge from various sources. It was enough to build a mostly envious image I presented to whoever wanted to listen. This book confirmed most of my preachings. Living in Covid/Brexit Britain behaving worse than a drunk uncle at the end of the wedding makes me wish we had a plan.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rafa Willisch

    I will quote John Simpson BBC World Affairs Editor who said of the book "A forensic and highly readable account of Germany's ability to get things right. This should be compulsory reading for every politician, civil servant and commentator in Britain"....and in many more countries in the World!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alfred

    An excellent portrayal of Germany surprisingly accurate and precise foot a non German writing it. Besides well written and captivating! A must read for culture students of German.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynnychen

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ian Greener

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bhushan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark Schmidt

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bueld Wolfgang

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rheinlaenderin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex chilton

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aidan Anderson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Petras

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kedar Kulkarni

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alison Muntz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Warren

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dirk

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mari

  24. 4 out of 5

    mr anthony bartlett

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

  26. 4 out of 5

    DAVID M SHEPHERD

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandesh Nayak

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  29. 4 out of 5

    Esther Hudson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter Davies

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