Father/Land: A Personal Search for the New Germany

Father Land A Personal Search for the New Germany A joy to read in fact a book so good one doesn t want it to end Kempe has written a piece of contemporary history as it should be written in clear engaging prose and with judicious and sensible a

  • Title: Father/Land: A Personal Search for the New Germany
  • Author: Frederick Kempe
  • ISBN: 9780253215253
  • Page: 489
  • Format: Paperback
  • A joy to read, in fact, a book so good one doesn t want it to end Kempe has written a piece of contemporary history as it should be written, in clear, engaging prose, and with judicious and sensible arguments He has expertly handled the history of modern Germany, and given us insights into the German soul, including his own, that are crucial for an understanding of o A joy to read, in fact, a book so good one doesn t want it to end Kempe has written a piece of contemporary history as it should be written, in clear, engaging prose, and with judicious and sensible arguments He has expertly handled the history of modern Germany, and given us insights into the German soul, including his own, that are crucial for an understanding of our modern world Kirkus Reviews While Kempe does not sugarcoat Germany s current problems its dyspeptic tolerance of immigrants, its pervasive bureaucracy and pedantry, the viciousness of the neo Nazis he argues that young Germans are right to no longer feel guilt for the Holocaust, as long as they learn its lessons Newsday This is a fascinating and important book for anyone interested in the New and Old Germany Fred Kempe, a distinguished foreign correspondent who has reported from many countries, turns in Father Land to a different land the mysteries and dark secrets of his German family that lay shrouded since the Third Reich As painful as it is, this is a search that Kempe could no longer refuse if he was to bring some sense to his American character and German roots As he interweaves his family s history with that of the German nation, his personal quest becomes a window not only into the German past but also into Germany s future Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Prize and coauthor of The Commanding Heights Father Land takes us on a spellbinding journey into Germany s past and present that begins with a musty olive trunk of old papers Fred Kempe inherited from his father Inside that trunk lies the enduring mystery of the German people Kempe s lively writing makes us see the paradox of modern Germany in small things such as the trashcans at the Frankfurt airport or the personal quirks of Kempe s teammates on an amateur basketball team in Berlin When Kempe finally discovers the horrific story that lies buried in his own family s history, the reader has the shock of experiencing the nightmare of Nazism from the inside David Ignatius, columnist, The Washington Post, and author of A Firing Offense From a skilled American reporter s search for his German ancestry emerges a rich and rewarding portrait of a nation moving toward a promising future even as it remains tied to an inescapable past Ronald Steel, author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century No foreign correspondent knows Germany as well as Frederick Kempe He understands us sometimes better than we understand ourselves His book is a refreshing, human look at where Germany is going, and it shows deep understanding for where it has been Volker Ruhe, former defense minister of GermanyFather Land is a brilliant, unorthodox work of observation, insight, and commentary, a provocative book that will become required reading for anyone seeking to understand modern Germany And it is something For in researching the past, Kempe discovered that the ghosts of Germany s past were not limited to others, that the contradictory threads of good and evil wove through his own family as well After years of denying his own Germanness, he would have to confront it at last.During a pilgrimage to Germany with his father, Fred Kempe promised him he would write about modern Germany Twelve years later, as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal Europe, Kempe began a long journey of exploration in an attempt to answer questions that haunted him about his father s land How could such an apparently good people with such a rich cultural history have done such evil things What causes evil, and what breeds good After only half a century of reeducation and reconstruction, could the strength of German democracy and liberalism be as great as it seemed In this book, Fred Kempe delves into Germany s demographic change, its modern military, its youth, and America s role in the remaking of Germany after the war He also looks at German pre war history and how that history plays into shaping the future of the newly intact Germany While searching modern Germany for the answers to his philosophical questions, Kempe finds himself in a parallel search for the roots of his own German heritage Through seeking out relatives and searching documents that might enlighten him about the unspoken mysteries of his family s past, he discovers than he bargained for, and at the same time learns a great deal about himself The journey that began as the fulfillment of a promise to his father, led him as he had hoped, to a greater understanding his father s Heimat.In the last chapter of his book, Kempe calls modern Germany America s Stepchild He theorizes that Germans, because of their past atrocities, feel a great responsibility to their European neighbors as well as to the world In their process of atonement, they have become a kinder and gentler people, while their strength remains Their role as a world leader beckons them to heights to which they no longer aspire Reaching great heights makes the world seem conquerable This is the mistake they must avoid Reaching out makes the world united This is the direction they know they must go.

    One thought on “Father/Land: A Personal Search for the New Germany”

    1. The memoir of an American journalist who lived in Germany during the 90s who finds out that one of his relatives was in the SA, this disturbs him greatly as he had generally booasted that his ancestors weren't like that. Kempe handles this in a way that the Schadenfreude is unfortunately limited, but the book also sets out something of the Stammtisch conviviality culture and the everyday legalities involved in neighbour disputes making it overall an unhappy foreigner’s view of Germany in the 9 [...]

    2. Probably in the history of mankind, no other nation and people has embarked on the kind of intense soul-searching that West Germans have undergone regarding their Nazi past, World War II and the Holocaust. Frederick Kempe is a German-American journalist who carries this search further in this book, both as an ethnic German and also as an outsider, being born an American. As I finished reading the book, I felt that I, as a non-German, got a substantially nuanced understanding of Germany as a nati [...]

    3. A sociocultural trip through the collective identity of the German nation, this book is unbelievably insightful and thoughtful. Kempe uses the very personal story of his family's history to shed light on the wider psyche of Germany itself and its development throughout the life of the country. The idiosyncrasies of Germans and the deeper roots behind them are illuminated, and you'll enjoy the process. Eminently readable and well written, it is accessible to the most casual reader while still hav [...]

    4. I asked my German Professor for a book that encompassed modern German ways of thinking, and he gave me this. Written by a journalist with German-born parents, Father/Land is an investigation in the "new Germany." Kempe details the modern relationship between Germans and Jews, the Turkish immigration "problem" that many Germans protest, and many concepts of the German mind that are different and not so different from American culture. He delves into the Americanization of Germany, including the d [...]

    5. Dude has a -lot- of imagined hangups and "issues." Some of what he brings up are legitimate concerns about the country and its people, but come on dude. When you say you fear walking through the streets of Germany because all of these incredibly polite Germans still, deep down, want to put people into death camps, you're taking it just a BIT too far in an effort to sell books.

    6. Very interesting read, if you are into Germany 20th century history, etc. Maybe a bit dry otherwise. The book is about the author's search for answers, both about his family (parents from Germany) and Germany's place in the New Europe. A bit dated now, but still very interesting.

    7. Remarkable personal story of a man yearning for a connection to his heritage, while dealing with the shame that arises from his ancestors. Anyone with German heritage who struggles to find pride in it should find this a wonderful read.

    8. The title of this book is Father/Land not Father of the Land.Excellent book - should be required reading in every high-school history class.

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