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Tag Archive for ‘Nazi Germany’

Cynicism and romanticism in Nazi Germany

The Lady from Zagreb (Bernie Gunther #10), by Philip Kerr @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Philip Kerr has written a series of eleven novels featuring homicide detective Bernie Gunther in Nazi Germany. I hope there will be more. It’s hard to resist characters who would think such things as this: “Being a Berlin cop in… Read More ›

An intimate take on German history

The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History, by Thomas Harding @@@@ (4 out of 5) There are several ways to approach history. You can focus on the broad political and social trends in society at large and how they evolve over time. You can look into… Read More ›

Mass murder in the Katyn Forest

A Man Without Breath (Bernie Gunther #9), by Philip Kerr @@@@ (4 out of 5) In the spring of 1940, Josef Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD, systematically murdered some 22,000 Poles. Among the victims were half the members of the Polish officer corps, police officers, government representatives, royalty, and leading members of Poland’s civilian population…. Read More ›

17 books that illuminate the World War II era

If you’ve been reading my reviews for very long, you’re aware that the World War II era holds special fascination for me. This might have something to do with the fact that I was born then — in fact, about six months before the USA entered the war. Or maybe it’s just because it all… Read More ›

The penny press, Amos ‘n Andy, and pop-up ads

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads, by Tim Wu @@@@@ (5 out of 5) If you’ve been paying attention, you can’t have missed the changes in the character of advertising over the course of your life. Certainly, I have. Chances are, you were born in the age of radio, at… Read More ›

29 good books about business history

Having spent more than half of my life in business, engaged in founding or leading a number of small companies, it’s only natural that I should read a good deal about economic history and the history of business. Here, I’ve listed 29 of the best books about the history of business that I’ve read and… Read More ›

A hard-boiled detective in Nazi Germany

A review of Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther #8), by Philip Kerr @@@@@ (5 out of 5) I find historical fiction grounded in fact irresistible. When a plot rests on events that really took place and characters who really lived, I’m prepared to give the author a little slack if the writing style is less than… Read More ›

Bernie Gunther’s life in flashbacks

A review of Field Gray (Bernie Gunther #7), by Philip Kerr @@@@ (4 out of 5) Havana, 1954. This is Bernie Gunther’s story. A former German officer, living under an assumed name. A high-ranking Cuban intelligence officer has threatened to kill him unless he refuses to spy on his boss, the American gangster Meyer Lansky…. Read More ›

A revisionist history of intelligence in World War II

A review of The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945, by Max Hastings @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Shelves-full of history books have been written about the triumphs of Allied intelligence in World War II. The Ultra Secret. The Man Who Never Was. Operation Mincemeat. Agent Zigag. Double Cross. A Man Called Intrepid. I’ve… Read More ›

A serial killer in Nazi Germany

A review of The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther #2), by Philip Kerr @@@@ (4 out of 5) Berlin, 1938. A private detective is pressed back into service in the criminal police (Kripo) at the behest of one of Germany’s most powerful Nazis. Soon he finds himself embroiled in a complex and intensely political power struggle… Read More ›