Synopses & Reviews
Berlin is once again the official capital of a united Germany and, perhaps, the metaphorical capital of a new Europe. In accordance with its received status, a series of massive architectural projects has been initiated, intended to restore, reveal, and reinvent both the physical and the symbolic city of Berlin. But to build a future, one must first examine the past. And Berlin's past is particularly troubling. In this elegant and compelling work, Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. How is reunified Germany confronting a divisive and authoritarian past rendered tangible by the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, Hitler's bunker - even the Brandenburg Gate? How can the rich culture of the past, the artistic and intellectual heritage of Berlin's avant garde, be rescued from the Cold War blight of Potsdamer Platz? And can the Neue Wache, Berlin's monumental remembrance of the horrors of tyranny and war, become the structural centerpiece and the symbolic guardian of this once and future capital? With keen insight and exacting scholarship, Ladd surveys the urban landscape, excavating its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past. In the end, it becomes clear that the ghosts of Berlin may never, indeed should never, fade away.
In this compelling work, Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Ladd surveys the urban landscape, excavating its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past.
"Written in a clear and elegant style, The Ghosts of Berlin is not just another colorless architectural history of the German capital. . . . Mr. Ladd's book is a superb guide to this process of urban self-definition, both past and present."and#8212;Katharina Thote, Wall Street Journal
"If a book can have the power to change a public debate, then The Ghosts of Berlin is such a book. Among the many new books about Berlin that I have read, Brian Ladd's is certainly the most impressive. . . . Ladd's approach also owes its success to the fact that he is a good storyteller. His history of Berlin's architectural successes and failures reads entertainingly like a detective novel."and#8212;Peter Schneider, New Republic
"[Ladd's] well-written and well-illustrated book amounts to a brief history of the city as well as a guide to its landscape."and#8212;Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Booksand#160;
Table of Contents
1. Berlin Walls
2. Old Berlin
4. Nazi Berlin
5. Divided Berlin
6. Capital of the New Germany
Chronology of Berlin's History