Book look: Nils Minkmar

Is he trying to say, ‘Look, I’ve got nothing to hide’? Or is he just taking his coat off? He appears to be rather uncomfortable, that’s for sure. The cover of Nils Minkmar’s new book shows Peer Steinbrück opening his coat, surrounded by reporters and snappers.
The photograph captures the atmosphere on the campaign trail leading to last year’s German Bundestag election. Steinbruck, the Social Democrats’ front runner, understood how to play the game. At the same time, the experienced politician was always on the brink of causing embarrassment – once more. Controversial statements and showing the middle finger – few positive memories remain from Steinbrück’s attempt to become chancellor of Europe’s economic superpower.

Now Minkmar, who heads the feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, presents his book about the SPD candidate’s ill-fated campaign. Minkmar accompanied Steinbrück across the country when he competed with Angela Merkel’s CDU for first place – from big assemblies to events on the countryside attended by just a handful of supporters.

His 220-page book offers an extraordinary glance on how things really work behind the scenes when all cameras and microphones are switched off. Minkmar manages to unmask influential networks. “Der Zirkus. Ein Jahr im Innersten der Politik” tells from decision-making processes and strategic meetings, but also odd situations.

Der Zirkus. Ein Jahr im Innersten der Politik
By Nils Minkmar
Published by S. Fischer (

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