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Red Love: The Story of an East German Family [Format Kindle]

Maxim Leo , Shaun Whiteside

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Beautiful and supremely touching… Leo’s memoir was the winner of the European Book Prize, and deservedly so… It is a moving saga of people who love one another but are doomed never to get along, and it is also an unbearably poignant description of a world that no longer exists." – Keith Lowe, Sunday Telegraph Book of the Week, 5-star review
 “[Red Love] gives us extraordinary, intimate access to East Germany when the state was not just in the family apartment but locked within the minds and aspirations of all its citizens.” Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year
 “A family narrative that is simultaneously gripping and meditative, an engaging and thought-provoking portrait of a disappeared world.” – Natasha Tripney, Observer
 “Compelling ... [Leo] is terrific at elucidating the slow, incremental steps by which people come to lie to themselves... guile, guilt and disappointment drip from these pages and Red Love is all the more affecting for it.” – Marina Benjamin, New Statesman
 “Written without political rancour or historical revisionism… With truthful tenderness and wry humour, Maxim Leo looks back not in anger but in an effort to understand the past.” – Iain Finlayson, The Times
"In a wry, laconic style, [Leo] uses childhood memories to demonstrate how absurd 'grown-up' behaviour can be – and how easily absurdity can morph into tragedy." – Maggie Fergusson, The Economist, “Intelligent Life
 “Honest and sober... a convincing depiction of what everyday life was like and the legacy it has left... illuminating.” Metro
"Leo uses the intimate scope of his family to explore the turbulent political history of East Germany from a perspective that has not been seen before. The result is an absorbing and personal account that gives outsiders an insight into life in the GDR." Shortlist

Présentation de l'éditeur

Winner of the European Book Prize

"The East isn't far away at all. It clings to me, it goes with me everywhere. It's like a big family that you can't shake off ..."

"Tender, acute and utterly absorbing" Anna Funder, author of Stasiland

"A wry and unheroic witness... an unofficial history of a country that no longer exists" Julian Barnes

Growing up in East Berlin, Maxim Leo knew not to ask questions. All he knew was that his rebellious parents, Wolf and Anne, with their dyed hair, leather jackets and insistence he call them by their first names, were a bit embarrassing. That there were some places you couldn't play; certain things you didn't say.

Now, married with two children and the Wall a distant memory, Maxim decides to find the answers to the questions he couldn't ask. Why did his parents, once passionately in love, grow apart? Why did his father become so angry, and his mother quit her career in journalism? And why did his grandfather Gerhard, the Socialist war hero, turn into a stranger?

The story he unearths is, like his country's past, one of hopes, lies, cruelties, betrayals but also love. In Red Love he captures, with warmth and unflinching honesty, why so many dreamed the GDR would be a new world and why, in the end, it fell apart.

"Tender, acute and utterly absorbing. In fine portraits of his family members Leo takes us through three generations of his family, showing how they adopt, reject and survive the fierce, uplifting and ultimately catastrophic ideologies of 20th-century Europe. We are taken on an intimate journey from the exhilaration and extreme courage of the French Resistance to the uncomfortable moral accommodations of passive resistance in the GDR.

"He describes these 'ordinary lies' and contradictions, and the way human beings have to negotiate their way through them, with great clarity, humour and truthfulness, for which the jury of the European Book Prize is delighted to honour Red Love. His personal memoir serves as an unofficial history of a country that no longer exists... He is a wry and unheroic witness to the distorting impact - sometimes frightening, sometimes merely absurd - that ideology has upon the daily life of the individual: citizens only allowed to dance in couples, journalists unable to mention car tyres or washing machines for reasons of state." Julian Barnes, European Book Prize

With wonderful insight Leo shows how the human need to believe and to belong to a cause greater than ourselves can inspire a person to acts of heroism, but can then ossify into loyalty to a cause that long ago betrayed its people." Anna Funder, author of Stasiland

"Heartbreaking... This very personal account allows us to better understand the reality of a kafkaesque regime, and the blindness of its elite that allowed it to survive for so long." La Tribune

"The great charm of this book, about the gradual disintegration of the GDR, lies in the level-headed but loving attitude with which it investigates the interweaving of the private and political [in Communist East Germany], revisiting a child's-eye view of the era." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"A crucial book ... poignant ... a tragedy reminiscent of the great narrative poets, Dostoevsky or Koestler. Maxim Leo has earned his place alongside them." Sud Ouest

"A lyrical story about a family in a divided city" Hamburger Abendblatt

Maxim Leo was born in 1970 in East Berlin. He studied Political Science at the Free University in Berlin and at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. Since 1997 he is Editor of the Berliner Zeitung. In 2002 he was nominated for the Egon-Erwin-Kisch Prize, and in the same year won the German-French Journalism Prize. He won the Theodor Wolff Prize in 2006. He lives in Berlin.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Fathers and Sons 9 janvier 2014
Par gerardpeter - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Maxim Leo is editor of the Berliner Zeitung. He was born in East Berlin in 1970, in in the middle of the GDR’s short life. This memoir covers more than those four decades. It takes us back to the eve of the First World War – to the farm of his greatgreatgrandfather. We pass through the generations – his grandfather Werner and then his own father, Wolf. He traces maternal ancestors to Dagobert and Wilhelm, then Gerhard and then his daughter and Maxim’s mother, Anne. To recover them the book uses published memoirs, unpublished diaries, interviews and even Stasi files.
These people certainly lived through interesting times. The book is certainly readable as you would expect from an established journalist. Some of the “memories” I suspect are, if not invented, then embellished. However, there are bigger issues. Firstly, where are the women? Wolf was brought up entirely by his mother, Sigrid, who receives just a page or two. She fares better than Gerhard’s wife, Norah – who barely gets a mention. Anne is discussed almost entirely through her relationship with her father and his alter ego, the East German state. Secondly, as Maxim does admit, his parents were more privileged than most East Germans, his family not typical. When Anne resigns from her magazine she is funded to do a doctorate on Spanish trade unionism. It is painfully ironic that when Maxim is rejected for the Abitur, his mother is utterly distressed because her son is fated to be a worker. In Maxim’s East Germany we notice the working class but fleetingly – sleep walking their way to the factories with pale faces and distant eyes. Thank God for the intelligentsia!!
The author retails familiar anecdotes [true/false/exaggerated?] set against a standard western view of East Germany – a grey landscape, populated by working class ghosts and the shadows of the informers.
However, between the lines and in the family photographs there is another story, which Maxim has not noticed. The marriage of his parents was clearly unhappy. When the Wall came down Wolf soon enough found a much younger partner, very much like his father had done before him. Anne’s sadness is very clear, but you can't blame Karl Marx for everything.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Background biographies of family members and why they believed in East Germany 1 mai 2014
Par SYLVIA J R MACANN - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The book tells of the background biographies of the Grandparents (maternal and paternal) and the children's upbringing/ideology which are the author's parents. Because of the diverse events in these peoples lives they all had their own reasons why to see the East German ideology as a positive construction. The author (who has seen the wall fall) can sit back and give objective judgement and can understand what and why made every one of his grandparents the person he or she was. Not everything can be seen as black and white.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well done look into the rise and demise of East Germany 3 juillet 2014
Par Patricia - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A well written non-fiction historical review of the development of Eastern Germany, the Socialist movement and its ultimate demise. Told through three generations of German Jews, the grandparents Gerhard and Nora (Anne) and Werner and Sigrid (Wolf), the adult children Wolf and Anne who accept the post war GDR and then later become disillusioned as the promised dream never materializes, and their son and author of the book, Maxim.
The book started a bit slow, but stick with it as the last 2/3 of the book is very interesting. We learn of Gerhard's involvement with the French resistance, the suspicions and spying in East Germany, and the ultimate demise of the Wall and the reunification of Germany.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A real-life story 27 juillet 2014
Par Rosemarie L. Kury - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
If you've ever wondered how life was in East Germany you'll enjoy this book. Told from the viewpoint of growing up there stories of his partners and grandparents are interwoven with his. One of his family was in the French Resistance. Their views of the war and life afterword in the East are very interesting and how their lives climax at the fall of the Berlin Wall.
3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating account by an East German who was there when the Wall fell 21 avril 2014
Par Mary A. - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Finally, I understand what exactly happened before and during the end of the Berlin Wall, told by an East German who was there.
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