Around 700 days since 51.9% of the participating UK electorate voted to leave the EU and around 500 days since Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as 45th president of the United States (with a disappointingly small turnout), I’m beginning to make sense of it all. After months of endlessly reading articles on the subject of … Read More →
From the first moment it all sounded very promising. A biography about a mathematical genius in the enlightenment period – thus checking off three of my favourite topics in just the book’s title already. With some caveats, I wasn’t disappointed. While not too well-known in popular culture, it is hard to overstate Euler’s accomplishments in … Read More →
Henry Kissinger is one of the architects of our current political order. First sworn in as fifty-sixth secretary of state on September 22, 1973, he received the Nobel Peace Prize that same year, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Medal of Liberty in 1986. This was a world away from Fürth, Germany, where he was born in 1938 as Heinz Alfred Kissinger to an Orthodox Jewish school teacher. With the election of Donal Trump and rising nationalism across the world, we are looking into the next chapter, a new New World Order. As ever, it helps to understand the past to make predictions for the future, which is why I was looking forward to reading Dr. Kissinger’s new biography by Niall Ferguson.
This is a book I’ve been quite excited to read. I follow Gideon Rachman’s columns in the Financial Times and posts on Twitter regularly as he is one of the eminent foreign policy journalists today. Of course, he is also a Western journalist so even though he has travelled through most parts of the world and lived … Read More →
Spoiler alert – this book is currently only available in German. This book on the not-so-well-known story of a great friendship that developed between Moses Mendelssohn and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, two giants of the Enlightenment period, had a great impact on me. Beyond their fascinating correspondences and meetings, their very connection and lives themselves symbolise … Read More →
A new species is born: homo globalis – and we are defined by our intimate connection to the global infotainment network, which has turned ranking and rating people on scales of wealth and celebrity into an obsession. According to Dr. Carlo Strenger, professor for psychology and philosophy at Tel Aviv university and author of this … Read More →
At this point I should probably disclose that I am a big fan of the baroque composer’s music. In fact, that doesn’t quite do it justice. To me, Johann Sebastian Bach has composed music so extraordinarily beautiful, both in a melodic and technical sense and in such quantity that it is hard to believe any … Read More →
This book was not a serendipitous purchase. I have always liked biographies for several reasons. Many argue that life still produces the most interesting stories – often more empathetically engaging and visceral than anything an author could dream up. What makes them my favourite literary genre, however, is something else. Well-written biographies capture not only … Read More →