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Reading Recommendations: The non-fiction bestseller for October

2019-09-26T08:20:15.979Z

Extremism, identity politics and East German CVs: The best non-fiction books of the month have plenty of contemporary relevance. A history of the USA also contributes to this.



1 (-) Stuart Jeffries: Grand Hotel Abyss
A. d. Engl. Susanne Held; Klett-Cotta; 509 p., 28, - €

After the Holocaust, Adorno and Horkheimer dared to do the unthinkable: They returned from exile to Germany - with the aim of building a new, better society. The English journalist Stuart Jeffries now pays tribute to the role of the two thinkers of Critical Theory - and their importance for building a more transparent Germany. 56 points



© Suhrkamp / Nova

2 (-) Julia Ebner: Radicalization machines
A. d. Engl. Kirsten Riesselmann; Suhrkamp / Nova; 334 p., 18, - €

Julia Ebner succeeds in something other extremism researchers only dream about: she invades twelve radical groups. She observes how terrorists plan attacks, election manipulation and fake news campaigns, especially with digital tools. Her book is the result of dangerous field research and a prudent analysis of digital terrorism: precise and frightening. 50 points



© Hanser

3 (6) Kwame Anthony Appiah: Identities
A. d. Engl. M. Bischoff; Hanser Berlin; 336 p., 24, - €

Identity politics is the buzzword in the Trump era. But what makes identities and why are they political? The British philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah puts things in order: he shows that behind the categories of belonging and demarcation are often paradoxical attributions. The analyzes are not only enlightening, they also bring new impulses into the discussion. 40 points



© CH Beck

3 (9) Armin Nassehi: Pattern
CH Beck; 352 p., 26, - €

We believe that the triumph of digital technology has revolutionized everything within a few years: our relationships, our work, democracy. But now the sociologist Armin Nassehi turns the tables and shows that there have always been technical revolutions. It is not the digitization that shapes society, but the other way around: modern society is whipping up the pace of digital transformation. 40 points



© Suhrkamp

5 (1) Steffen Mau: Lütten
Klein Suhrkamp; 284 p., 22, - €

The sociologist Steffen Mau grew up in the 1970s in the Rostock prefabricated housing estate Lütten Klein. After 1989, Mau studies and makes a career at the Humboldt University. Now he is returning to his homeland, talking to the departed and remaining and finding the frustration that leads the region to populism. A knowledgeable study of the rift that runs through eastern Germany. 35 points



© btb / Random House

5 (4) Eva Meijer: What animals really want
A. d. Dutch v. H. Ehlers; btb / Random House; 160 p., 20, - €

The animal is also a political being. Eva Meijer gives numerous examples: debating bees before stabbing them. Geese do not let humans say anything. Camels refuse to go to war. If animals have a will, Meijer finds, they should be treated accordingly. The philosopher explains why animals should be given a political voice. 35 points



© Penguin

5 (7) Robert Macfarlane: In the Lowlands
A. d. Engl. A. Jandl u. F. Sievers; Penguin; 560 p., 24, - €

British literary critic Robert Macfarlane takes us under the ground. He visits cave landscapes in England, dwindling glacier worlds in Greenland and remote tunnels for nuclear waste. His book is not only a clever description of the earth, but also the testimony of an astonished person. Anyone who reads it loses any understanding of the exploitation of nature. 35 points



© Klett-Cotta

5 (7) Ines Geipel: Contested Zone
Klett-Cotta; 377 p., 20, - €

What made the broad agreement with Pegida and AfD possible? That asks the author and former East German competitive athlete Ines Geipel. To find answers, she travels to her own story. She accompanies her seriously ill brother on the last stretch of his life and examines what the GDR fear-and-lie system has to do with the current shift to the right - and with her family. 35 points





© CH Beck

9 (-) Jill Lepore: These truths
A. d. Engl. Werner Roller; CH Beck; 1120 p., 39.95 €

In her book, the historian Jill Lepore tells the story of the United States from its beginnings to today's crisis. Neither the shadows nor the sunny sides of the last Western world power escaped her view: slavery and exploitation, but also great achievements like political equality. A ride through history, getting to know the country in all its contradictions. 33 points



© Klett-Cotta

9 (-) Claudia Hammond: Tick, tack
A. d. Engl. Dieter Fuchs; Klett-Cotta; 364 p., 22, - €

Sometimes it pulls itself miserably long, sometimes it rages: The time is a subjective stream, although it is to be measured exactly. How does this contradiction come about? BBC journalist Claudia Hammond explains the secret with the help of neuroscientific findings and plastic experiments. At the same time it shows how one can do more from the time. A fascinating book. 33 points

Source: zeit

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