Simon Winder has a politically incorrect style of presenting history, which makes it a refreshing, thought-provoking read. I loved his book about Germany, which I read on the eve of running a major event there – it was loaned to me by a German colleague who clearly felt I needed to bone up. I began the book in the middle of the night and was amazed to find that far from putting me to sleep, as I hoped, it had me laughing, so lively is the prose.
‘If the French could be described as having an empire made up of the bits the British didn’t want, then the newly united Germans got hold of places shunned even by the French.’
To enjoy a selection of its bracing, witty, imaginative prose, see our quote-rich review.
Source: Simon Winder, Germania: A personal history of Germans ancient and modern (London, Picador, 2011 (2010)), p. 358
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