John Kampfner is an award-winning author, broadcaster and foreign-affairs commentator. He began his career reporting from East Berlin (during the fall of the Wall) and Moscow (during the collapse of communism) for the Telegraph. After covering British politics for the Financial Times and BBC, he edited the New Statesman. He is a regular TV and radio pundit, documentary maker and author of six previous books, including the bestselling Blair's Wars. His most recent book, Why the Germans Do it Better, was a top ten bestseller, Book of the Year in the Guardian, Economist and the New Statesman, and sold over 100,000 copies in all editions.
'A delightful read... Kampfner's book, with its flurry of anecdotes
and observations, captures [Berlin's] sense of disorder. He refuses
to define a city that has never been able to define itself, instead
presenting readers with the city's infinitely captivating
A masterful portrait of one of the world's greatest cities. John Kampfner captures the many histories of Berlin - the joys and the beauties, the horrors and the suffering, the divisions and the dreams. A must-read.
A gripping story of the events that led to the creation of Germany's capital city... what better guide [to Berlin] than John Kampfner'
It is a Meisterwerk - a biography of the city that never fails to entertain and inform - but it is also more than that. Kampfner has given me a longing to return
Berlin may well be Europe's most enigmatic city and John Kampfner - curious, sceptical and with an eye for the arresting detail - is the ideal guide.
*Jonathan Freedland, the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Escape Artist*
Written in an accessible, journalistic style... John Kampfner succeeds in opening up illuminating vistas across the centuries with considerable verve... he makes a valuable and distinctive contribution, providing an easy and highly readable introduction to the city for those who are not familiar with its landscapes of the past, the many traces of which continue to fascinate and infuriate visitors and residents today.
*Times Literary Supplement*
John Kampfner is an ideal guide to Berlin, its history and people, in this tour de force
No-one is better qualified than John Kampfner to write about Berlin - that living palimpsest of German, and thus European, history. His knowledge is both deep - historical, analytical - and wide, drawn from a large diaspora of knowledgeable contacts. One of Europe's foremost intellectuals, Kampfner is also incapable of writing a dull sentence, which allows this book to succeed as history, travel book, autobiography, treatise and love-letter.
*Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny*
Modern Germany is one of the political wonders of the world and John Kampfner one of its finest interpreters. It is a delight to have the two come together in this fascinating book.
*Daniel Finkelstein, the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hitler, Stalin, Mum and Dad*
This book will have you hurrying back to one of the most fascinating cities on earth. John Kampfner is a brilliant guide as he excavates layer after layer of Berlin's 800-year history, as it lurches from destruction to decadence, from horror to hope. A gripping, rich read full of personal anecdote seamlessly interwoven with scholarly detail.
A brilliant but vexing love affair with a city that gets under the skin. Kampfner eloquently captures Berlin - a place of perpetual reinvention, lurid dreams, grotesque nightmares and impossible ideas. Rarely is scratching an itch as much fun as it is in Berlin.
A beautifully researched, thoughtful and personal examination of Berlin's history. Sometimes it needs the perspective of an outsider to see a place clearly.
Excellent and provocative
*The Sunday Times on Why The Germans Do It Better*
One of the best English-language introductions in recent years to modern Germany and its politics: thoughtful, deeply reported and impeccably even-handed
*The Times on Why the Germans Do it Better*
Highly readable and well-informed... [Kampfner] mixes historical sweep with vivid reporting to celebrate Germany's strengths and achievements
*Financial Times on Why the Germans Do it Better*
With insights based on painstaking research and evidence gleaned from months crisscrossing the country... Kampfner's analysis is simply peerless
*Literary Review on Why the Germans Do it Better*
One of Britain's most distinguished political writers
*Mail on Sunday on Why the Germans Do it Better*
Kampfner roams widely in Germany and has a reporter's ear for the telling anecdote. He knows his history too
*The Spectator on Why the Germans Do it Better*