RaveThe Times (UK)Engrossing ... Makes for uncomfortable but fascinating reading as Bilger forces his readers to see his grandfather through his eyes ... The fascinating journey Bilger takes his readers on is part family story, part detective mystery, part insight into Germany’s painful process of coming to terms with its history ... Tells us more about Bilger’s personal quest for identity than it does about Gönner. But this emotionally candid book, expressed with reflective clarity, reveals a great deal about Germany’s process of coming to terms with itself.
Julia Boyd, Angelika Patel
PositiveThe Times (UK)A fascinating deep dive into one community as it experiences the rise and fall of Hitler ... Boyd... approaches her subjects with a sometimes uncomfortable degree of empathy. How should history judge the village mayor, for example? According to Boyd he was \'both a committed Nazi and a decent human being\', and in her view this should not be seen as a contradiction in terms ... An utterly absorbing insight into the full spectrum of responses from ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
MixedTimes Literary Supplement (UK)Bell’s portrayal...remains curiously detached. The turbulences of her life seem to whisk the author and her readers past many intriguing details – too quickly for us to take them in ... The Undercurrents is an articulate but somewhat breathless journey of self-discovery rather than a cultural topography of Berlin.
PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)Characteristically perceptive and fast-paced, McKay’s new book artfully plunges its readers into contrasting layers of history ... Seen through the eyes of McKay’s colourful cast of city dwellers, twentieth-century Berlin is brought vividly to life ... The idea that the first half of the national story begins with the state’s foundation in 1871 and leads to worse and worse excesses until its ultimate catastrophe in 1945 necessitated a new beginning is a powerful one. McKay’s Berlin reinforces it somewhat by placing the emphasis squarely on the years before and after the supposed \'zero hour\'. But to this day we can find much longer continuities.
PositiveWashington Post... comprehensive ... In her unflinching and sober account of the response of ordinary people under occupation, Kochanski shows that there is no straightforward answer to the question of why some Europeans chose to resist the Nazis while most did not ... Kochanski takes an uncompromising new look at many of these dearly held ideas without taking away from their importance \'to the concept of the nation state in the post-war years\' ... A nuanced and dispassionate study, Resistance nonetheless pays tribute to those who \'were determined to thwart the designs of the Germans, to harass them, to deny them the opportunity to ever assert total control over the peoples of Europe.\' Ideas of independence and dignity were at the heart of the struggle — worth fighting and even dying for.
Harald Jähner tr. Shaun Whiteside
RaveThe Times (UK)... particularly intriguing in the way that it undermines commonly held perceptions of this period ... provides a compendium of universally human tales that make for a moving read. Jähner is masterly in telling the tragic, despicable, comedic and uplifting stories of those who were there as he takes his readers on a fascinating tour through rubble-strewn postwar Germany.
RaveSpectator World (CAN)James Holland’s greatest strength as a military historian is that he brings humanity to his work — a rare trait in a field of research that can sometimes feel dominated by those obsessed with numbers. Where others recite regiment numbers and calibre sizes, Holland is interested in the men behind the faceless facts ... In Brothers in Arms he invites his readers to follow the Sherwood Rangers, a British tank regiment, on their way from the Normandy beaches into Germany as World War Two came to its bloody conclusion. Drawing on a wide range of sources, he paints a remarkably vivid picture of what his subjects endured and achieved in the closing stages of the conflict ... Brothers in Arms does more than just tell the story of the Sherwood Rangers. Having interviewed veterans, spoken to their families, read their letters, seen their photographs and walked in their paths, Holland has delved into their world and brought their characters to life. Behind the 148 deaths were 148 lives with families, relationships, upheaval and joy. The book is a powerful and moving reminder that there is tragedy in statistics.