When the Party’s Over

“They’re all underestimating me,” the SPD’s Martin Schulz told his team as his campaign suffered the first setback. Just a few months later, he admitted: “Everyone I meet is so friendly – because they pity me.”1

Where did it all go wrong for Schulz who, after many successful years in Brussels and Strasbourg, was determined to replace Angela Merkel as German chancellor?

From quickly catching up in polls after delivering his first firebrand speeches to experiencing a devastating defeat at the voting box in September 2017 – a highly renowned journalist’s book offers an astonishing behind-the-scenes look.

Early into his campaign, Schulz granted unrestricted access to Markus Feldenkirchen – a truly remarkable agreement considering the dominant role of spin doctors in today’s hypocritical politics.

“Die Schulz-Story” is an exceptionally intimate documentation of a battle-hardened politician’s campaign trial nightmare. Feldenkirchen exposes how sloppy planning, naive mistakes, a slump in polls and party-internal spats (“Utter idiot!”) brought the former president of the European Parliament on the brink of complete physical and mental exhaustion.

Anyone interested in politics MUST read this book.

Die Schulz-Story. Ein Jahr zwischen Höhenflug und Absturz
By Markus Feldenkirchen
Published by DVA (www.dva.de)

Big in Berlin

What is the source of Sebastian Janata’s unrelenting energy? The musician, producer and drummer of colossally influential avant-garde pop group Ja, Panik just released his debut novel, “Die Ambassadorin”.1

Janata, who grew up in rural Burgenland, spent a few years in Vienna before moving to Berlin around 10 years ago. Ja, Panik – who are celebrated for the allegorical power of their lyrics – have not just released five studio albums but also a book (“Futur II”).

“Die Ambassadorin” is compelling evidence of his determination to break the pattern once again. Told with wit and depth, Janata’s book is an engrossing crime novel but also, with all the binge-drinking and depression, an authentic portrait of life on the countryside.

Die Ambassadorin
By Sebastian Janata
Published by Rowohlt (www.rowohlt.de)

The Summertime Bookshelf, part two


Let’s take another look at some appealing reads for the sunny season.

A few years back, a book on former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder found wide critical acclaim. Now the author of “Gerhard Schröder. Die Biographie” has investigated the increasingly complex global political constellation. In “ Krieg. Hundert Jahre Weltgeschichte”, Gregor Schöllgen focuses on armed conflicts since 1917 and how they affected politics, society and economy. DVA recently also presented “Zwölf Wochen in Riad. Saudi-Arabien zwischen Diktatur und Aufbruch” by Susanne Koelbl. The renowned journalist moved to Riyadh for three months to find out whether some sort of reform process is on the horizon in the autocratic country.

Krieg. Hundert Jahre Weltgeschichte
By Gregor Schöllgen
Published by DVA (www.dva.de)

Ronald D. Gerste has been a regular contributor for renowned newspapers such as Hamburg-based Die Zeit and Switzerland’s leading quality daily, Neue Zürcher Zeitung. In “Amerika verstehen. Geschichte, Politik und Kultur der USA”, the historian analysed every relevant aspect – from the Mayflower myth to the debate on firearms and other controversial issues. Examining events in 200 BC, Nazi Germany’s defeat in Stalingrad in 1941 and hurricane Katrina 15 years ago, “ Wie das Wetter Geschichte macht” underlines how climate change and the weather have affected the history of the world in the most dramatic way.

Wie das Wetter Geschichte macht. Katastrophen und Klimawandel von der Antike bis heute
By Ronald D. Gerste
Published by Klett-Cotta (www.klett-cotta.de)

Who would have thought that a 1,100-page beast on royal rivalries in the 17th and 18th century can turn out to be as enticing as a well-written novel? “Das Europa der Könige” by Leonhard Horowski offers fresh perspectives and astonishing insights. The publication underlines the enormous variety as far as Rowohlt’s publishing policy is regarded. In “Was wollen die denn hier? Deutsche Grenzerfahrungen”, author Lucas Vogelsang and film star Joachim Krol narrate their extraordinary journey to eastern Germany.

Das Europa der Könige. Macht und Spiel an den Höfen des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts
By Leonhard Horowski
Published by Rowohlt (www.rowohlt.de)