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There’s no shortage of opinions on Germany. But what are the Germans really like? How do they think and behave? And who are the great figures of German culture? Speak the Culture: Germany unpicks this complex, populous nation, unravelling old preconceptions so that the visitor may understand the country afresh, as one of its own citizens.
The book narrates the story of Germany’s rich (but often overlooked) cultural heritage: Western philosophy was shaped by Leibniz, Kant, Hegel and Marx; composers from Beethoven to Kraftwerk have directed the flow of European music; and Schiller, Goethe and Mann all count among the greats of world literature. Today, the German capital, Berlin, is the hub of avant-garde European culture, its studios, workshops and clubs home to a diverse, progressive scene.
Speak the Culture: Germany tells this story of artists, musicians, playwrights and writers in a snappy, amusing style, picking out major works and movements but also adding offbeat info on personal habits, messy love affairs and messier deaths.
The book also explores the modes of everyday life in modern Germany (culture with a small ‘c’) with its religion, class, politics, food, drink and so on. Each is revealed with its subtleties, regional variations and relevance to 21st century life.
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Andrew Whittaker has travelled widely and written extensively on France and the Mediterranean countries.
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