Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries

Zip Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Ce

Zip Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries I should point out that despite my adoration for Wings of Desire, late '70s Bowie, etc., I've never actually been to the damn place, so I'm not the best barometer for the "accuracy," especially for a text that doesn't exactly prioritize truth. Hell, I can barely call this book "nonfiction" with a straight face. After all, there are so many fictive devices, so many origin-myth type tales, that Rory MacLean makes Truman Capote look like Edward R. Murrow. But I do know that I was wrapped up in each of these tales, in the story of how a Slavic swamp village became a million other, contradictory things over the course of its long history.. Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries is Kindle Why are we drawn to certain cities Perhaps because of a story read in childhood Or a chance teenage meeting Or maybe simply because the place touches us, embodying in its tribes, towers and history an aspect of our understanding of what it means to be human Paris is about romantic love Lourdes equates with devotion New York means energy London is forever trendy.BerlWhy are we drawn to certain cities Perhaps because of a story read in childhood Or a chance teenage meeting Or maybe simply because the place touches us, embodying in its tribes, towers and history an aspect of our understanding of what it means to be human Paris is about romantic love Lourdes equates with devotion New York means energy London is forever trendy.Berlin is all about volatility.Berlin is a city of fragments and ghosts, a laboratory of ideas, the fount of both the brightest and darkest designs of history s most bloody century The once arrogant capital of Europe was devastated by Allied bombs, divided by the Wall, then reunited and reborn as one of the creative centers of the world Today it resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realized, and evils executed with shocking intensity No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.Berlin tells the volatile history of Europe s capital over five centuries through a series of intimate portraits of two dozen key residents the medieval balladeer whose suffering explains the Nazis rise to power the demonic and charismatic dictators who schemed to dominate Europe the genius Jewish chemist who invented poison gas for First World War battlefields and then the death camps the iconic mythmakers like Christopher Isherwood, Leni Riefenstahl, and David Bowie, whose heated visions are now as real as the city s bricks and mortar Alongside them are portrayed some of the countless ordinary Berliners who one has never heard of, whose lives can only be imagined the Scottish mercenary who fought in the Thirty Years War, the ambitious prostitute who refashioned herself as a baroness, the fearful Communist Party functionary who helped to build the Wall, and the American spy from the Midwest whose patriotism may have turned the course of the Cold War.Berlin is a history book like no other, with an originality that reflects the nature of the city itself In its architecture, through its literature, in its movies and songs, Berliners have conjured their hard capital into a place of fantastic human fantasy No other city has so often surrendered itself to its own seductive myths No other city has been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations Berlin captures, portrays, and propagates the remarkable story of those myths and their makers. Canadian Rory MacLean is one of Britain s most expressive and adventurous travel writers His twelve books include the UK top tens Stalin s Nose and Under the Dragon as well as Berlin Imagine a City, a book of the year and the most extraordinary work of history I ve ever read according to the Washington Post He has won awards from the Canada Council and Arts Council of England and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary prize His works according to the late John Fowles are among those that marvellously explain why literature still lives A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he divides his time between the UK, Berlin and Toronto.. Popular Books Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries Berlin بعد الفراغ من هذا الكتاب اندفعت إلى أمازون بحثاً عن كتب مشابهة، أضفت لقائمتي كتب عن لندن وباريس ونيويورك، ولازلت ابحث عن كتاب جيد عن موسكو، كتب روري ماكلين عن برلين بملحمية، بحب، كتب فصولاً ملتقطة من برلين والبرلينيين، وهي أفضل طريقة لكتابة تاريخ مدينة، لا أجمل من تتبع الأزمنة التي مرت بها من خلال تتبع تأثيراتها على سكان المدينة، وفي كل مرة يمضي فيها ماكلين مع شخصية جديدة وزمن جديد، لا ينسى أن يذكرنا بالأزمنة الماضية، ونحن مع رجل فيتنامي مثلاً يعيش في برلين الشرقية، لا ينسى أن يشير إلى أنه ها هنا كان يخطب جوبلز، وفي هذا المبنى كانت تسكن ليني ريفنستال، لقد مرت برلين بأزمنة مجد، ومرت بأزمنة مرعبة، عانت الاحتلال والهدم والتقسيم، لهذا كانت ولازالت مادة ممتازة للمؤرخين، وكتاب روري ماكلين عنها لا يفوت.
Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Centuries MacLean Oct , Berlin tells the volatile history of Europe s capital over five centuries through a series of intimate portraits of two dozen key residents the medieval balladeer whose suffering explains the Nazis rise to power the genius Jewish chemist who invented poison gas for First World War battlefields and then the death camps the iconic mythmakers like Christopher Isherwood, Leni Riefenstahl, and David Bowie Berlin Portrait of a City TASCHEN May , More than a tribute to the city and its civic, social, and photographic history, this book pays special homage to Berlin s inhabitants full of hope and strength, in their faces is reflected Berlin Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Centuries by Rory Feb , Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Centuries is an enthralling narrative historical novel which will leave you yearning to discover about the German capital MacLean skillfully and colorfully takes readers on a enchanting journey from the end of the Medieval Period right up to the present day with each personal story adding layer upon layer of the fascinating yet tragically brutal history of Berlin. Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Centuries Kindle edition by MacLean, Rory Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Centuries. Berlin Portrait of a City Sep , Berlin has survived two world wars, was divided by a wall during the Cold War, and after the fall of the wall was reunited The city emerged as a center of European power and culture From to the present day, this book presents the story of Berlin in photographs, portraits, and aerial views. Berlin Portrait of a City TASCHEN Books The most comprehensive photographic study of an extraordinary city, Berlin, Portrait of a City offers some pages of aerial views, street scenes, portraits, and to trace the city from the Roaring Twenties to the ruins of war to its rebirth as political and cultural capital Quotes from famed Berlin icons and connoisseurs, from Marlene Dietrich to David Bowie, accompany the images. Berlin Rory MacLean Macmillan Oct , Berlin tells the volatile history of Europe s capital over five centuries through a series of intimate portraits of two dozen key residents the medieval balladeer whose suffering explains the Nazis rise to power the genius Jewish chemist who invented poison gas for First World War battlefields and then the death camps the iconic mythmakers Portraits of Berlin Isaiah Berlin Online Isaiah Berlin at Albany, London, in Photograph by Lucinda Douglas Menzies held by the National Portrait Gallery, London. Before the Deluge Portrait of Berlin in the s, A Otto Friedrich was a journalist and cultural historian A contributing editor at The Saturday Evening Post and Time magazine, he was the author of fourteen books, including Before the Deluge A Portrait of Berlin in the s. Severan Tondo The Severan Tondo or Berlin Tondo from circa CE, is one of the few preserved examples of panel painting from Classical Antiquity It depicts the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus with his family to the left is his wife Julia Domna, and in front of them are their sons Geta and Caracalla It is now part of the Antikensammlung Berlin, currently held in the Altes Museum.

  1. Canadian Rory MacLean is one of Britain s most expressive and adventurous travel writers His twelve books include the UK top tens Stalin s Nose and Under the Dragon as well as Berlin Imagine a City, a book of the year and the most extraordinary work of history I ve ever read according to the Washington Post He has won awards from the Canada Council and Arts Council of England and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary prize His works according to the late John Fowles are among those that marvellously explain why literature still lives A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he divides his time between the UK, Berlin and Toronto.

209 Reply to “Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries”


  1. I should point out that despite my adoration for Wings of Desire, late 70s Bowie, etc I ve never actually been to the damn place, so I m not the best barometer for the accuracy, especially for a text that doesn t exactly prioritize truth Hell, I can barely call this book nonfiction with a straight face After all, there are so many fictive devices, so many origin myth type tales, that Rory MacLean makes Truman Capote look like Edward R Murrow But I do know that I was wrapped up in each of these t [...]


  2. I read the Chinese edition And I just don t understand why I can t find the relative edition every time It s good, though I hope it better I hope the author had found a hard core story and joined all these materials together This book wrote about fragments and silhouette I really hope it could be a whole, solid story.


  3. Admittedly this is a hodgepodge of a book, half novel, half biography, half portraiture, and not everything melds together But when you relax and realise this is going to abstract than non fiction Kandinsky than Friedrich then you can have some real fun with it Okay I admit MacLean s foreshadowing is too much on the nose, it is like having Hitler coming up behind you and going Guess Who But when we reach the 20th century and his portraits of different members of the city start to interact, pro [...]


  4. I received a free copy of Berlin through the First Reads program.The author is a good writer He is very knowledgable about his subjects and adds a lot of detail.Overall, I was disappointed however I was hoping for a biography of the city itself, particularly its origins and how Berlin grew into the city it is today The majority of the text is dedicated to the 1800s and beyond it was not very balanced Additionally, as an avid nonfiction reader, the recreated conversations were very difficult for [...]


  5. It takes a bit of time to get into, but its worth persevering Berlin is illustrated through the engaging, detailed, almost novel like portraits of the characters that have inhabited the city over hundreds of years, and how their presence impacted the city and Germany and vice versa Highly recommend this to anyone who likes reading about cities and urban life.



  6. Rory MacLean s latest book is a significant departure from the travelogues with which he made his reputation In some ways travel still sits at its core MacLean, after all, is Canadian by birth but there is very little travelling involved Not in the spatial sense What he attempts in Berlin Imagine a City is instead, in many ways, a kind of time travel Collected between its covers are a series of short biographies of the artists and personalities who have shaped Berlin across the centuries Opening [...]


  7. Art, architecture, literature and Started reading this book weeks or months before heading off to Berlin Finished while I was in the city Couldn t be pleased that I did that because what I read and saw just made the experience of this wonderful city so much better The book provides some of the meaning you will attempt to grope at particularly in some places and spots where some of the unthinkable happened Nevertheless it is a city that one would want to return again and again.


  8. Part potted history, part fiction The Isherwood and Dietrich the latter includes charming of the author meeting her late in her life chapters were tremendous the Fritz Haber chapter is an excellent summary The wheels really fall off in the last few chapters, even on David Bowie, which also benefits from the author s personal experience Of the fictional chapters, only the Brecht chapter stood out.


  9. Interesting enough, but probably shouldn t have been billed as a portrait through the centuries if 250 400 pages were going to be about 20th century Berlin I wanted to know about Berlin s formative years, not have yet another retread of the 1920 30s and the Third Reich.


  10. Odd book Lots of little stories of Berlin personalities through history Doesn t explain the relevant history very well, so it s all very confusing Style tries to be touchy feely and personal and dramatic, which doesn t work I gave up after a while.


  11. This book is 500 years of Berlin history I got it because I thought I would visit there this year As it turns out we are not going There is a quote at the very beginning that says, Why are we drawn to certain cities Perhaps because of a story read in childhood That is almost exactly why I thought I wanted to go to Berlin as a teenager I saw the movie The Big Lift and was fascinated by Berlin But I knew nothing about its history until reading this book It is an odd history in that each chapter is [...]


  12. Great context for understanding BerlinThe author uses a historical fiction approach to sharing the history of Berlin and how it has been built up and torn down throughout history In taking this approach, focusing on famous figures, and lesser known ones, he also provides an understanding of the psyche of Berliners.I found this book very useful as a backdrop to my first visit to Berlin Any visitor guide can tell you what to visit this book provides historical context.


  13. For anyone who wants to know about Berlin but doesn t want to slug it out with Faust s Metropolis, MacLean s book is a good choice The structure is a bit like Edward Rutherford s novels but rather than the contrivance of serial generations of fictional characters, MacLean has chosen historical figures for the most part, that exemplify generations of the city I think any past visitor to Berlin will recognize the city portrayed in this book.


  14. Brilliant history of a brilliant cityA different take on the history of Berlin The author recounts the story of Berlin by writing a series of short stories He uses fact but by writing as if fiction we get a vivid and emotional history We see Berlin, warts and all, as a living entity, shaped and shaping it s population.


  15. I think the first few chapters are the weaker ones, but once you get into the late 19th century the book picks up speed and becomes really good or it may be that I m not interested enough in the earlier periods The 20th century chapters are, I think, excellent If you re interested in Berlin, go for it



  16. I received this book for free through First Reads.In some ways I feel like Rory MacLean s Berlin Portrait of a City Through the Centuries doesn t quite know what it wants to be It is obviously very focused on the city of Berlin, but I come away from the book with less of an understanding of the city It seeks to be a portrait of Berlin, but so many of the stories MacLean uses are from modern perspectives and gloss over large periods of the city s history It is a non fiction work, but most of the [...]


  17. I really enjoyed this history of Berlin It was a very interesting read and I felt I learned a lot about Berlin s culture and past One of the downsides to the book would be the author s inclusion of personal narrative at random times within the book and without any forewarning Although I understand that the author might have wanted to give it a personal touch, none of his stories seemed to move the book forward in any significant way There were also other things about the narrative that didn t fe [...]


  18. British author Rory Maclean has written a history of Berlin, that is really not straight history It is, instead, a series of short glimpses at the city and its people, beginning in the Middle Ages when Berlin was just a settlement He continues in time to today, mostly focusing on the last four hundred years.Maclean writes his story in both fiction and non fiction from straight prose to play form he tells the stories of the unknown Berlin resident to the well known Berliners who have contributed [...]


  19. p 395 To tell Berlin s story, to reflect its creativity and reveal both its seen and unseen sides, I have used some of the techniques of the novel I have developed characters from historical sources, selected and tailored personal experience, arranged the action as so as to give the narrative shape and momentum My aim is to make the place and its history engaging and accessible, to mirror the city s essence of perpetual reinvention the bottom up For years my opinion has been that history can of [...]


  20. What a disappointment of a book 1 There is little about the city of Berlin, its history and its streets Instead, the reader will learn a lot about who slept with who over the course of German history.2 The author is not a true historian He does little research of his own In most cases he rather subjectively retells what is written in other books by other authors Maclean does that without even bothering to carry out fact checking some examples no, Goebbels could not stand at Friedrich II tomb at [...]


  21. MacLean tells the tale of the history of Berlin in a chronological order through a cast of characters as eclectic as the city itself He tackles larger, historical figures of varying degrees of both fame and infamy, such as Frederick the Great and Josef Goebbels and also tells the stories of lesser known Berliners He also creates stories of composite characters which reflect the historical time period MacLean is a gifted writer and these histories read like chapters in a novel Though I initially [...]


  22. What a disappointment this book was to me.The opening jacket description of the book reads, A bold and imaginative history of one of the world s greatest cities.I don t see the boldness the author does a mist thin imitation of Edward Rutherfurd, leaping quickly to the 20th century.I don t see the imaginative poetic language often, yes, but as the author uses these to describe his own experiences or those of historical characters okay, he imagines how they may have felt , but nothing truly of the [...]


  23. I did not like this book It isn t that McLean can t spin a yarn, because he can He has a talent for quickly engaging the reader into a storyline with a captivating plot He can craft story arcs with limited time which is a challenge My problem with his book overall is its bleakness Everyone is miserable Everyone is tormented Everyone is horrible Berlin is a dark place ever changing into darkness There are also wide gaps between the history and the fantasy particularly when Marlene Dietrich and D [...]


  24. This was an interesting means of telling history and exploring the culture of a city primarily looking at key individuals in Berlin across several centuries, exploring how they both reflected and changed their times My only complaint with the book was finding it hard to understand how much might have been fictionalized dramatized There are some obviously made up details or conversations, and several of the earlier characters are probably inventions, but the device mostly works in terms of explor [...]


  25. The framework for this book is rather good each chapter is a sneak peek into the life of one person during a certain period of Berlin s history, famous or not For the most part, I really enjoyed this as I learnt a lot of new stuff, especially from the chapters focusing on female figures It took me a while to get into this style, though the medieval chapters at the beginning threw me off.However, when I got to the David Bowie chapter, I couldn t help wondering whether the whole book had been a bu [...]


  26. This is a book about Berlin and its history MacLean s approach is to take various characters from significant times in the history of the city and relate their stories as a kind of semi fiction This can mean that either the character is real and a real segment from their life in Berlin is related as a story, or else the character is a construct designed to depict or highlight some aspect of the city The pitfalls of the approach are that the strength of the stories can be patchy, that, in adherin [...]


  27. The subtitle of the book says that it is a portrait of a city through the centuries This is a portrait of mythos, of story, of legend It is not concerned with rigorous historical accuracy, which I found problematic right from the beginning I enjoy historical fiction and I enjoy fantasy, so I have no problems with authors rewriting history to suit their story But I do find it annoying when people infuse fiction into a work of nonfiction A particularly glaring example of this is the author writing [...]


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