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Berlin: The Twenties

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Berlin, a haunting vision of the twentieth centurys first modern city, is a cultural history filled with 400 shockingly fresh and romantic photographs, paintings, and other images. In the brief years between the twentieth centurys two cataclysmic world wars, the modern metropolis was invented in Berlin. Life in Berlin was a cabaret, and Marlene Dietrich, Thomas Mann, ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Harry N. Abrams (first published October 2006)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  94 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I bought this for the illustrations and these were very good, with sufficient description and intelligently linked to the text. The photos of Berlin streets and personalities were very evocative and allowed you to appreciate the distance in time. The paintings chosen were excellent, as although they were by artists that I knew, the majority were not paintings which I had previously seen.
The text is a translation from German (originally published in Austria I think) and is rather difficult and
Ian Forsyth
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it

When cosmopolitan Bulgarian-born writer Elias Canetti found himself in Berlin in 1928, he also reflected that on this 'golden age': 'What exactly defines a golden age? It is an era full of famous names, one following on after the other, and yet not eclipsing each other, although they may indeed be in competition. What is important is that there is a continual impetus and a continual collision, adding to the golden glow, rather than extinguishing it. It is a lack of sensitivity towards
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous. I don't agree with the previous commentators who were dismissive of the text. Perhaps it's inadequate for historians and art historians of 20th century Germany, but it's perfect for interested nonspecialist readers like me: conversational and accessible, but also full of fascinating information. And the images are completely beyond criticism: great, queasy-making work by George Grosz; beautiful and obscurely
creepy photographs by August Sander; film posters that are masterpieces of
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: photography
Essentially a superior coffee-table book, with a bit of critical analysis thrown in to lend it some intellectual credibility. But who reads the text in these things, anyway, unless it's those same perverts who used to read the fiction in Playboy? You pay for the pictures, and they don't disappoint here. The documentary photos are fascinating enough, but the real stand-outs are the paintings: Grosz and Dix, those masters of the grotesque sublime, are well-represented, as is the underrated ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very good essay topics from the period with only light patches of woolly generality. For me, an excellent introduction to the New Objectivity, esp. the work of Christian Schad. Amazing number of beautiful and incisive images, many full-color.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mainly photos, but a beautiful colelction of images from a dynamic place before WWII
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
again, very interesting and tons of great photos and pictures
Jelena R
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brilliant photos, but the text is a bit confusing and at moments tedious.
Paul Smith
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice pics and nice text about a nice city. Bingo.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y2011, non-fiction, german
Haven't read all of the essays, since I couldn't focus on them, but the pictures were stunning, interesting and funny.
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Rainer Metzger is a writer and cultural historian, and professor of art history at the Academy of Karlsruhe, Germany.

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