Germany and the Germans: An Anatomy of Society Today

John Ardash, Author, John Ardagh, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24.95 (478p) ISBN 978-0-06-015839-2
This is an admiring, chatty, frank look at daily life in West Geramny (with one long chapter on East Germany) and the characteristics that make up the country and its people. Ardagh has written five books about France; his comparisons here between the two countries are particularly enlightening. A sample of the subjects he explores: German racism, education, cooking and humor; the differnce between northern and southern Germans; the inapplicability of the pompous-arrogant stereotype nowadays; the ""New German Cinema'' (he analyzes Edgar Reitz' 15-and-one-half-hour Heimat, which he calls a masterpiece), television and the press. Two subjects he ignores: party politics and foreign policy. Ardagh discusses in depth the influence of the Nazi past and how the Germans deal with it. He questions the stability of German democracy, and explores the German tendency toward romanticism, irrationality and extremism. Highly recommended as an information-packed view of present-day Germany by a self-described francophilic Englishman who has obviously found a new love. BOMC alternate. (October)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
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