For anyone who thinks they know a lot about Angela Merkel; for anyone who knows nothing about Angela Merkel—pick up this book and do not put it down until the very last page ... informative [and] fascinating ... While many biographies often overflow with dry historical family and personal data, this one does not ... Marton’s research focuses on Merkel’s politics as Merkel rises from growing up behind the Berlin Wall through to 1989, to moving away from a scientific life into one of politics. This is exactly what keeps the pages turning ... It is safe to say that Marton’s prologue and epilogue sum up Merkel’s astounding political life, and yet all the chapters in between are what provide the immaculate details of how she came to be Angela Merkel ... a definite must-read!
Marton carefully traces Merkel’s journey from the hinterlands of East Germany to the center of power in Berlin. A fluent writer, Marton seeks to unravel the Merkel mystery by penetrating the cordon sanitaire that she has erected around her personal life ... a masterpiece of discernment and insight ... For all her admiration of Merkel’s prodigious talents, Marton has not composed a valentine ... For anyone seeking a guide to Merkel’s improbable odyssey, this book is it.
Marton’s new biography, The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel, is a bit like Merkel herself: calm, dispassionate, not afraid to bore us. Many readers will find it a balm. It’s instructive to spend time in Merkel’s competent and humane company ... Merkel didn’t talk to Marton for this book. When the author does get a quote out of someone close to Merkel, it’s often a banality...But give Marton credit. She has doggedly retraced Merkel’s trail, and the story she brings is a good one ... On occasion The Chancellor veers toward hagiography, but it steps quickly away again. Marton is a critical observer, especially of Merkel’s tendency not to articulate her deeper feelings, her frequent failure to win over hearts as well as minds ... This book is a bedtime story of a queasy sort, or so it can seem. It’s as if Marton, via her subject, were tucking the old liberal order in and wishing it a good night, for tomorrow it may die.