Cy Wussow's Reviews > Germania: A Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern

Germania by Simon Winder
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's review
Apr 29, 2012

it was ok

The further I read, the more I hate this book. But I have to finish it because I do not want to judge it as a whole yet, I still have hope that in the next pages, my thoughts about Winder will change. I paid around €12, I do not want to think and feel that I've wasted €12.

Updated on the 3.August 2012:

I've finished it finally. It is not a total waste to force myself to finish the entire book even if I was already disappointed. Just like any other books, this too has its share of pro's and con's.

Con's: I will paraphrase one reader's words: Winder is having a hard time focusing. He has this tendency to commit inconsistency, and most of the sub chapter's titles does not describe what he really writes and he ends up simply forcing the subchapter's title into the context. There are also entries wherein he tends to be judgmental/ choosing sides merely because they are not of his interest. For this reason he failed his attempt to be a modern historian.

Pro's: As a migrant in Germany, I got to know famous names and be acquainted to their story and works without putting my brain into hard work. This book helped me to have a little background on how Germany came to be, so when I start studying real Germany history books, I at least already have a basic idea who these important people are and what had they contributed to the making of Germany as an independent nation. His resources at the end of the book serves also as my "books wish list". He also inspired me to visit these historical places. The lack of photos within the book is a good idea, because it means that he is not forcing his readers to agree on his judgment/ prejudices. It is like giving an implied message of "I found this place ugly but you have to visit yourself to know whether you'd agree with me or not."

I am giving 2 stars out of 5. He could have written far better than how he did.

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Reading Progress

April 29, 2012 – Started Reading
April 29, 2012 – Shelved
May 1, 2012 –
page 35
7.51% "I am past in the middle of chapter 1. I can say that this is a nice approach to history of Germany. However, I pity the author for not finding any enjoyment with the food here in Germany. I am also a foreigner here, and with his statements about food choices, I only agree on his laments about sauerkraut. I feel sorry for him 'coz he does not like the taste of green sauce and apple wine."
July 27, 2012 –
page 275
59.01% "langweilig!"
August 3, 2012 –
page 402
86.27% "In fairness to Winder, he helped me understand how the hate against Jews started and as well as against the French. Poor Germany had to go through all that hyper-inflation all alone while today, during the Euro crisis, these countries are all crying for help to Germany and Germany do helps them but at the end they are still the bad guys. How unfair the world seems to be for the Germans!"
August 3, 2012 – Finished Reading

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