Former New Statesman editor explains why Germany has become a model to emulate, while we still languish in wartime nostalgia
Atlantic Books is to publish Why the Germans Do It Better: Lessons from a Grown-Up Country by the former editor of the New Statesman John Kampfner, who also founded the Creative Industries Federation. UK Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights were acquired by editorial director Mike Harpley from Andrew Gordon at David Higham Associates.
According to the acquisition statement: 'In this provocative book, John Kampfner argues that we could learn a lot from Germany. Humiliated and disgraced by the Second World War and the USSR’s occupation of the East, the country has had to reinvent itself for the modern world. It has built an economy and culture based on inclusive values and long-term thinking. Political debate is grown-up and the constitution is strong. Housing is affordable and health provision operates without the recurrent crises of the NHS. Society is more equal and environmental protections are unrivalled.
'Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a searching and
entertaining exploration of the country that Britons love to hate. Raising important questions for
post-Brexit Britain, Kampfner will ask why Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while we still languish in wartime nostalgia and fail to tackle contemporary challenges.'
In a varied career, Kampfner has been editor of the New Statesman, chief political correspondent of the Financial Times, political commentator at the Today programme and most recently founding ceo of the Creative Industries Federation which he led for nearly five years. Fluent in German and Russian, he was the Daily Telegraph's Berlin correspondent when the wall came down aand went on to become Moscow bureau chief, covering the collapse of communism.
His five previous books include the best-selling Blair's Wars, and Freedom For Sale, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize.
Harpley said: "As one of the most respected journalists in Britain today – and as a committed but not unquestioning Germanophile – John Kampfner is the perfect author to explore our complicated relationship with the country. This is an urgently needed and very commercial book that will provoke and inform in equal measure."
Why the Germans Do It Better: Lessons from a Grown-Up Country will be published in hardback and
eBook in April 2020.