Berlin and Its Culture: A Historical Portrait

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9780300072006: Berlin and Its Culture: A Historical Portrait

This beautiful book—a full cultural portrait of Berlin—reveals the spirit of this vital and important city by focusing on the culture it produced from its medieval beginnings to the reunification of 1990. Lavishly illustrated the book surveys the literature, philosophy, music, theater, and visual and decorative arts that emerged from and were expressive of the evolving social patterns of the city.

Ronald Taylor brings to life the cultural activities of each age, putting these in the context of the politics and social life of the era. In relation to the medieval period, for example, he describes the "red-brick" Gothic style, Gothic art in general, and early printed books. For later periods, as the arts develop, he highlights the architecture, contemporary painting and sculpture, music, literature, furniture, and interior decoration. Great names inseparable from the life of the city—Lessing, Hegel, Schinkel, Mendelssohn, Menzel, and Fontane—appear prominently in the narrative. But Taylor also discusses lesser figures who, absorbed by their time and place, often tell us more about their era than do their greater contemporaries.

From a series of cultural cameos, including the Cold War years when it was divided by the Wall into East and West, Taylor assembles a fascinating picture of Berlin, giving insights into its corporate personality. The result is not only a fresh perspective on the city but also a framework within which to view the reunited Germany of today and the cultural paths it is pursuing.

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Review:

What is the culture of a city? Is it the corporate personality, the politics of the founders, the undertaking of its artists and visionaries? Berlin and Its Culture surveys all these arenas, paying particular attention to the writers, philosophers, actors, and later, interior designers and filmmakers. In relating the lives and accomplishments of its inhabitants, Ronald Taylor maps the social patterns of the city in fascinating detail.

Taylor takes care to include accounts of life in both East and West Berlin, and while he does provide some coverage of Nazi culture, he does not perform an in-depth analysis. Rather, with his focus on the periods of artistic proliferation, he writes at length on the Romanticism of Berlin's early years and the flourishing of literature during the Weimar period.

The book itself is a weighty, glossy endeavor. The reader can not turn a page or two without encountering an illustration, painting reproduction (often in color), or elaborate map of the changing face of the city. Berlin and Its Culture is a visual, visceral treat and an appealing survey of one of the world's most complex locales.

About the Author:

Ronald Taylor is emeritus professor of German at the University of Sussex. He has been visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of British Columbia. Among his many books are studies in the culture of medieval and modern Germany and biographies of Richard Wagner, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, and Kurt Weill.

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Book Description Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. A lavishly illustrated cultural portrait of Berlin from its medieval beginnings to reunifications in1990. xv+416 pages, photos, bibliography, index. In print @ $35.00. Bookseller Inventory # 1337

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 1997. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This beautiful book-a full cultural portrait of Berlin-reveals the spirit of this vital and important city by focusing on the culture it produced from its medieval beginnings to the reunification of 1990. Lavishly illustrated the book surveys the literature, philosophy, music, theater, and visual and decorative arts that emerged from and were expressive of the evolving social patterns of the city. Ronald Taylor brings to life the cultural activities of each age, putting these in the context of the politics and social life of the era. In relation to the medieval period, for example, he describes the red-brick Gothic style, Gothic art in general, and early printed books. For later periods, as the arts develop, he highlights the architecture, contemporary painting and sculpture, music, literature, furniture, and interior decoration. Great names inseparable from the life of the city-Lessing, Hegel, Schinkel, Mendelssohn, Menzel, and Fontane-appear prominently in the narrative. But Taylor also discusses lesser figures who, absorbed by their time and place, often tell us more about their era than do their greater contemporaries. From a series of cultural cameos, including the Cold War years when it was divided by the Wall into East and West, Taylor assembles a fascinating picture of Berlin, giving insights into its corporate personality. The result is not only a fresh perspective on the city but also a framework within which to view the reunited Germany of today and the cultural paths it is pursuing. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780300072006

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 1997. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This beautiful book-a full cultural portrait of Berlin-reveals the spirit of this vital and important city by focusing on the culture it produced from its medieval beginnings to the reunification of 1990. Lavishly illustrated the book surveys the literature, philosophy, music, theater, and visual and decorative arts that emerged from and were expressive of the evolving social patterns of the city. Ronald Taylor brings to life the cultural activities of each age, putting these in the context of the politics and social life of the era. In relation to the medieval period, for example, he describes the red-brick Gothic style, Gothic art in general, and early printed books. For later periods, as the arts develop, he highlights the architecture, contemporary painting and sculpture, music, literature, furniture, and interior decoration. Great names inseparable from the life of the city-Lessing, Hegel, Schinkel, Mendelssohn, Menzel, and Fontane-appear prominently in the narrative. But Taylor also discusses lesser figures who, absorbed by their time and place, often tell us more about their era than do their greater contemporaries. From a series of cultural cameos, including the Cold War years when it was divided by the Wall into East and West, Taylor assembles a fascinating picture of Berlin, giving insights into its corporate personality. The result is not only a fresh perspective on the city but also a framework within which to view the reunited Germany of today and the cultural paths it is pursuing. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780300072006

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