“I just found this book such a revelation. It’s a beautiful work of history. Jähner is 68 now and was born in that postwar era. It must have been an incredibly difficult book to write. We think of Germany as a place of order and discipline, what Jähner reveals here is ten years of anarchy and very naked individualism. It’s awful, just out of control. It gets to the point where a cardinal says that the seventh commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal’, no longer applies. It’s got this very strong human element. He just aggregates lots of individual stories, so it doesn’t feel long. You’re brought into the human stories pretty quickly.” Read more...
The Best Nonfiction Books: The 2021 Baillie Gifford Prize Shortlist