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The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s Hardcover – 9 May 2014


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With attentive honesty and scrupulous openness, Sollors captures the utter untowardness of times and things in the making. The result is a complex pleasure brave, broad, bracing, hugely intelligent, and unfailingly fresh. --Gish Jen, author of "Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self"

Until recently Sollors [...] avoided writing about Germany, but his new book returns fascinatingly to the ruined landscape of his childhood. He argues that we re wrong to see the Allied occupation as a prelude to the West German economic miracle. [...] The years that followed the German surrender were desolate both for occupiers and occupied, as Sollors illustrates with examples drawn from a curious assortment of texts and photographs that complicate and sometimes counteract the prevailing despair. --London Review of Books

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read to Understand Human Costs of Conflic 21 Dec. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Essential reading for those who know little about the environment in which Europeans lived, especially in Germany, after World War II. It is most compelling for those who remember the experience (as does the author of the book) as children. It is also an essential antitidote to forgetfulness (or blindness) to the plight of refugees in any conflict--right up to this day.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary portrait of a people and of a time and mood. 26 Aug. 2014
By John B. Levine MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding. One of the most thought provoking and moving books I have read. Thanks you Werner Sollors.
2 of 24 people found the following review helpful
How Someone views Sentimental Photographs 13 Jun. 2014
By Ivan Morvay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frankly, this book was a disappointment. I expected it to be about the experiences of the Germans at the end of the war. But it was about the experiences of the author, and his sensibility was not especially interesting. I regret having purchased this book. I'll chalk it up to experience, and to no one's fault but my own, and be more realistic next time.
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