Books by Giles MacDonogh

TESTICLES by Blandie Vie
Released: Nov. 30, 2011

"A delightful mix of good humor and scholarship."
French food writer Vie tenders a panoramic profile of the testicle as totem and tasty. Read full book review >
1938 by Giles MacDonogh
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"A chilling examination of a critical year in European history."
A chronological account of the pivotal year in which Hitler's master plan of Lebensraum and Jewish extermination was set in motion. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

"Of interest to students of modern Europe, complementing W. G. Sebald's On the Natural History of Destruction (2003) and other studies of history from the point of view of the vanquished."
Throughout time it has been the victor who has written history, but here historian MacDonogh (The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II, 2001, etc.) examines the darker side of the Allied occupation of defeated Germany. Read full book review >
THE LAST KAISER by Giles MacDonogh
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"A gripping narrative about a flawed, but ultimately pitiable, king."
A biography of Wilhelm II, who oversaw the collapse of the German empire. Read full book review >
Released: April 17, 2000

" A captivating, diverse study of an equally fascinating figure."
An ambitious portrait that concentrates on the enlightened monarch's intellectual (rather than military) achievements. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 14, 1998

Another addition to the recent spate of books on the new (old) German capital. It should come as no surprise that since June 1991, when German politicians in the Bundestag voted that Berlin would again be the capital of a united Germany, scholars have turned their attention to that city. Ronald Taylor's Berlin and Its Culture (1998) focused on a rich heritage of art, architecture, music, and theater; Faust's Metropolis by Alexandra Richie (1998) borrowed the brilliant motif of Faust to explore and explain Berlin's identity. No doubt this latest contribution to a growing genre will be compared with the predecessors; written by MacDonough, a British journalist for the Financial Times and the author of well- regarded historical works (A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Salz, 1992, etc.), his rendering of the city more than holds its own. Berlin, according to the author, is now reinventing itself for precisely the ninth time. No wonder recent tourists have marveled at all the physical construction (and renovation) going on. More important, though, as the author points out, Berlin is rethinking its position as the capital of a united Germany in a united Europe. MacDonough does a fine job of balancing matters of chronology with thematic issues; he gracefully synthesizes social, cultural, and political history. The author of several works on food and drink, he's roundly unapologetic about devoting an entire chapter here of nearly 50 pages to the topic—one must conclude that cuisine is an excellent means through which to approach history and urban biography. What emerges from the tapestry? "Berlin was and is a city of villages, each with a different character and political complexion.— While many in Europe look on in apprehension as Berlin burgeons, MacDonough feels confident of the future of —the inextinguishable city.— (16 pages b&w illustrations, not seen) Read full book review >
Released: April 8, 1992

A close look into Hitler's Germany via the life of aristocratic anti-Nazi Adam von Trott zu Solz, by British historian MacDonogh. Handsome, highly intelligent, and principled, Trott (1909-44) was born to make his mark. As a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and part of the flourishing German/English culture of the time, he was both a social success and accepted by distinguished scholars like A.L. Rowse. MacDonogh looks at Trott's life via personal letters from and to his friends, comments by those friends, and descriptions of his behavior and basic concerns. The finely detailed narrative creates an impressive, tactile reality, making clear what it was like for Trott to be torn between love of country and knowledge of its corruption, unable to affect its course. Trott certainly tried to do just that, though, using his talents and connections to work from within the Third Reich—and in so doing lost many of those closest to him, Britons who could not forgive him for remaining at home. Trott rose to become an emissary of Hitler's Germany, dissembling at home, distrusted abroad, his proposals compromised into impossibility, his life poisoned, a tortured man, and at times an apologist. (Trott's stand on the Jews is ambivalent—he grew close to a half-Jewish British woman but seemed unable to grasp what was happening in Germany.) What to do when your country is bent on genocide and war? Whatever else he did, Trott remained very human, marrying the woman he loved and having children. In the end, all his cards played without effect, Trott joined the bomb plot against Hitler and died for his beliefs. A fine biography and an evocative portrait of Trott's times. (Twenty-eight b&w photographs—not seen.) Read full book review >