Looking for reading on a new topic can be really hard – I had some great suggestions from fellow history teachers about school textbooks and history books, and settled on Germany 1871-1945: A Concise History, by Raffael Scheck. This is a great book – with smashing detail on the motives and negotiating positions of the “big three” at the Versailles conference in 1919. Scheck pleads for an ‘openness’ towards German history and has an interesting take on the extent to which we can blame Versailles on the Second World War, or the inevitability of the Nazi regime.
However, I was struggling with finding fiction, both historical and contemporary with the Weimar Republic. Then I remembered my friend, the innovative Bookseller Nic Bottomley @mrbsemporium of www.mrbsemporium.co.uk (the best independent bookshop in Britain, and probably the world), so I asked him. He asked a great panel of experts – his customers.
Anyone got any good novels set in 20s or 30s Germany? Luminous life of lily Aphrodite comes to mind but what else have you got for me?
— Mr B’s Emporium (@mrbsemporium) August 15, 2014
As you can see from the replies to the tweets, there were a really interesting set of ideas and I’ve ordered (from Nic, natch) several, which I’ll read over the next few months. I’ve learned that the best is the enemy of the good, and though I would like to have read these books before teaching this for the first time, it’s better than I read them as I go along, rather than not bother because I can’t get them down before I start teaching.