Book cover of Beyond the Wall by Katja Hoyer
Europe

Beyond the Wall

In 1990, a country disappeared. When the Iron Curtain fell, East Germany simply ceased to be. For over forty years, from the ruin of the Second World War to the cusp of a new millennium, the GDR presented a radically different German identity to anything that had come before, and anything that exists today. Socialist solidarity, secret police, central planning, barbed wire: this was a Germany forged on the fault lines of ideology and geopolitics. […Learn More]

Book cover of Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self by Andrea Wulf
Biography & Autobiography

Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self

From the best-selling author of The Invention of Nature comes an exhilarating story about a remarkable group of young rebels—poets, novelists, philosophers—who, through their epic quarrels, passionate love stories, heartbreaking grief, and radical ideas launched Romanticism onto the world stage, inspiring some of the greatest thinkers of the time. […Learn More]

Book cover of Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth by Iain MacGregor
Europe

Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth

In the early 1960s, East Germany committed a billion dollars to the creation of the Berlin Wall, an eleven-foot-high barrier that consisted of seventy-nine miles of fencing, 300 watchtowers, 250 guard dog runs, twenty bunkers, and was operated around the clock by guards who shot to kill. Over the next twenty-eight years, at least five thousand people attempt to smash through it, swim across it, tunnel under it, or fly over it. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II by Iain MacGregor
Eastern Europe

The Lighthouse of Stalingrad: The Hidden Truth at the Heart of the Greatest Battle of World War II 

To the Soviet Union, the sacrifices that enabled the country to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II were sacrosanct. The foundation of the Soviets’ hard-won victory was laid during the battle for the city of Stalingrad, resting on the banks of the Volga River. To Russians, it is a pivotal landmark of their nation’s losses, with more than two million civilians and combatants either killed, wounded, or captured during the bitter fighting from September 1942 to February 1943. Both sides endured terrible conditions in brutal, relentless house-to-house fighting. […Learn More]

Book cover of Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe by Suzanne L. Marchand
Biography & History

Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe

Porcelain was invented in medieval China—but its secret recipe was first reproduced in Europe by an alchemist in the employ of the Saxon king Augustus the Strong. Saxony’s revered Meissen factory could not keep porcelain’s ingredients secret for long, however, and scores of Holy Roman princes quickly founded their own mercantile manufactories, soon to be rivaled by private entrepreneurs, eager to make not art but profits […Learn More]