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John Kampfner

In Search of Berlin: The Story of a Reinvented City

In Search of Berlin: The Story of a Reinvented City

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'A masterful portrait of one of the world's greatest cities... A must-read' - PETER FRANKOPAN

'Such a delightful read' - KATJA HOYER, The Times

'Berlin may well be Europe's most enigmatic city and John Kampfner is the ideal guide.' JONATHAN FREEDLAND, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Escape Artist

'Gripping' - Financial Times

No other city has had so many lives, survived so many disasters and has reinvented itself so many times. No other city is like Berlin. Ever since John Kampfner was a young journalist in Communist East Berlin, he hasn't been able to get the city out of his mind. It is a place tortured by its past, obsessed with memories, a place where traumas are unleashed and the traumatised have gathered.

Over the past four years Kampfner has walked the length and breadth of Berlin, delving into the archives, and talking to historians and writers, architects and archaeologists. He clambers onto a fallen statue of Lenin; he rummages in boxes of early Medieval bones; he learns about the cabaret star so outrageous she was thrown out of the city. Berlin has been a military barracks, industrial powerhouse, centre of learning, hotbed of decadence - and the laboratory for the worst experiment in horror known to man.

Now a city of refuge, it is home to 180 nationalities, and more than a quarter of the population has a migrant background. Berlin never stands still. It is never satisfied. But it is now the irresistible capital to which the world is gravitating. In Search of Berlin is an 800-year story, a dialogue between past and present; it is a new way of looking at this turbulent and beguiling city on its never-ending journey of reinvention.

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About the Author

John Kampfner is an award-winning author, broadcaster and foreign-affairs commentator. He began his career reporting from East Berlin (during the fall of the Wall) and Moscow (during the collapse of communism) for the Telegraph. After covering British politics for the Financial Times and BBC, he edited the New Statesman. He is a regular TV and radio pundit, documentary maker and author of six previous books, including the bestselling Blair's Wars. His most recent book, Why the Germans Do it Better, was a top ten bestseller, Book of the Year in the Guardian, Economist and the New Statesman, and sold over 150,000 copies in all editions. His new book, In Search of Berlin, is coming October 2023.

Follow John Kampfner on Twitter: @johnkampfner

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