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Germania : A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern by Simon Winder

Germania : A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern

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Sue Baker's view...

When I was searching for good books to recommend for further reading it’s quite clear how little has been published on Germany – if Simon Winder was writing about France or Italy I would have been spoilt for choice. So, a welcome guide to a country with which we have somewhat of a troubled relationship. Without mentioning the war – very much, he guides us round a country that has long fascinated him, his enthusiasm quickly rubs off, and one longs to follow in his footsteps. He has a particular delight in quirky museums of which Germany has a fair few, the more outré historical facts and some of Germany’s less than haute cuisine. But Simon Winder is most successful at blending humour and quirky travel anecdotes with serious history, an ideal way to find out about Germany past and present.

Like for Like Reading:
Planet Germany, Cathy Dobson
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, Anna Funder

Who is Sue Baker


Germania : A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern by Simon Winder

'It made me laugh so hard that I woke up my wife and had to give up reading the book in bed. If Bill Bryson had collaborated with W. G. Sebald to write a book about Germany, they might have wound up with something like this' Sunday Times Germania is a very personal guide to the Germany that Simon Winder loves. Equally passionate about the region's history, folklore, cuisine, architecture and landscape, Winder describes Germany's past afresh - and in doing so sees a country much like our own: Protestant, aggressive and committed to eating some very strange food.


'This accessible, enthusiastic and startlingly vivid account is a brilliant introduction to the hidden wonders of Germany. A splendid offering.' Financial Times

'His excitement is beguiling and infectious ...There are many pleasures to be savoured in Germania, gems that make Winder's clever, rambunctious work a book to treasure.' Literary Review

'Beautifully written and insightful.' Irish Times

About the Author

Simon Winder

Simon Winder was born in London in 1963, somewhat prematurely thanks to his mother's response to all the action and adventure in From Russia with Love. He is the editor of a number of anthologies, including the highly praised Night Thoughts. He works in publishing, most recently at Penguin where he had the perhaps slightly disturbing fan's apotheosis of actually buying the rights to Ian Fleming's novels. He lives in Wandsworth Town.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th February 2011


Simon Winder

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Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan


480 pages


The Real World
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European history



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