James (JD) Dittes's Reviews > Germania: A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern

Germania by Simon Winder
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's review
Sep 29, 2013

liked it

I admit that I'm a sucker for "subjective" history books--as long as they're not about my own country. Winder is very opinionated--particularly about German food and just about every Land north of Hesse--yet he brings such insights into art, history and architecture that the reader cannot help but learn more about German history. One admirable trait of this book is its effort to describe the lunacy and interelations of the hundreds of German kingdoms and duchies that made up the Holy 'Roman Empire. Widner's efforts to do this make the book seem haphazard at times, but the contribute so much to the richness of what he is trying to describe.

This book is a visual feast, and it needs to be read with a computer nearby. I found myself turning time and again to Google Images to look up an artwork or building referenced in the book (the Magdeburg Cenotaph was one such revelation). What I liked most about this book is that it is a launching place from which Germanophiles can find more elements of this fascinating culture to investigate.
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