From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100
Objects, this is a view of Germany like no other. For the past 140
years, Germany has been the central power in continental Europe.
Twenty-five years ago a new German state came into being. How much
do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now
understand themselves? Neil MacGregor argues that uniquely for any
European country, no coherent, over-arching narrative of Germany's
history can be constructed, for in Germany both geography and
history have always been unstable. Its frontiers have constantly
floated. Konigsberg, home to the greatest German philosopher,
Immanuel Kant, is now Kaliningrad, Russia; Strasbourg, in whose
cathedral Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany's greatest writer,
discovered the distinctiveness of his country's art and history,
now lies within the borders of France. For most of the five hundred
years covered by this book Germany has been composed of many
separate political ...