Sitting on a bench at a communal table in a restaurant in Regensburg, his plate loaded with disturbing amounts of bratwurst and sauerkraut made golden by candlelight shining through a massive glass of beer, Simon Winder was happily swinging his legs when a couple from Rottweil politely but awkwardly asked: "So: why are you here?"
This book is an attempt to answer that question. Why spend time wandering around a country that remains a sort of dead zone for many foreigners, surrounded as it is by a force field of historical, linguistic, climatic, and gastronomic barriers? Winder's book is propelled by a wish to reclaim the brilliant, chaotic, endlessly varied German civilization that the Nazis buried and ruined, and that, since 1945, so many Germans have worked to rebuild.
Germania is a very funny book on serious topics-how we are misled by history, how we twist history, and how sometimes it is best to know no history at all. It is a book full of curiosities: odd food, castles, mad princes, fairy tales, and horse-mating videos. It is about the limits of language, the meaning of culture, and the pleasure of townscape.
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by Simon Winder
by Matthew Restall
by Chris Wickham
by Roger Moorhouse
by Michael Smith
by Tim Blanning
by Simon Winchester
by Simon Lelic
by Barbara W. Tuchman
by Jim Rasenberger
by Richard Reeves
"If diversion guides your choice of audiobooks, this wayward history of Germany will suit every mood. Whether driving, doing dishes, or dropping off into a nap, this irreverent, digressive narrative will hold you, or release you. James Cameron Stewart, though thoroughly British, or maybe because of that, proves the perfect narrator, holding a nice balance between erudition and whimsy. Winder is also the author of DANUBIA, and his is the sort of travel guide one loves to listen to and follow--especially with a pause button at hand. GERMANIA ends with the Nazis, but their shadow hangs over the narrative, a repeated point of reference as the author recounts Germanic legends and tries to square German nationalism with long centuries of fragmentation. Informative, insightful, often very funny, this is history as you like it, without all those mountains to climb, and without the Nazis. D.A.W. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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