Keeping Up With the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters

Keeping Up With the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters

Philip Oltermann / Jul 21, 2019

Keeping Up With the Germans A History of Anglo German Encounters In in the middle of watching an ill tempered football match between England and Germany Philip Oltermann s parents tell him that they are going to leave their home city Hamburg behind and move

  • Title: Keeping Up With the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters
  • Author: Philip Oltermann
  • ISBN: 9780571240173
  • Page: 285
  • Format: Paperback
  • In 1996, in the middle of watching an ill tempered football match between England and Germany, Philip Oltermann s parents tell him that they are going to leave their home city Hamburg behind and move to London.Inspired by his own experience of both countries, Philip Oltermann looks at eight historical encounters between English and German people from the last two hundred yIn 1996, in the middle of watching an ill tempered football match between England and Germany, Philip Oltermann s parents tell him that they are going to leave their home city Hamburg behind and move to London.Inspired by his own experience of both countries, Philip Oltermann looks at eight historical encounters between English and German people from the last two hundred years Helmut Kohl tries to explain German cuisine to the Iron Lady, the Mini plays catch up with the Volkswagen Beetle, and Joe Strummer has an unlikely brush with the Baader Meinhof gang.Keeping Up with the Germans is a witty look at the lighter side of Anglo German relations over the last 100 years.

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    About "Philip Oltermann"

      • Philip Oltermann

        Philip Oltermann Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Keeping Up With the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters book, this is one of the most wanted Philip Oltermann author readers around the world.


    574 Comments

    1. As a student of German, I am always going to be interested in social/cultural accounts of the country, even more so when it's in relation to my own (England). To be honest, I was expecting this to be more of a memoir of the author himself (who moved from Germany to England as a boy), than a page or two of personal experience followed by a whole chapter of a comparison with a vaguely similar historical Anglo-German encounter. One criticism would be that observations of national character were rat [...]


    2. Gut - as far as it went.As a Brit that has lived in Germany for nearly 24 years, this was a must (it was being passed round the Brit community here in Stuttgart).I felt Oltermann (who is German and lives in London and writes for The Guardian newspaper) came up with a good conceit - narrating some Anglo-German encounters which he felt epitomised the relationship between the two countries, e.g. Helmut Kohl meeting Margaret Thatcher (two worlds collided there all right!) and inevitably a soccer enc [...]


    3. This book is part memoir but mostly an account of how the British generally regard the Germans and also, though to a lesser extent, how the Germans see the Brits. The author moved to London from Germany as a teenager, so with one foot firmly in each culture he compares the two societies approaches to politics, literature and movies, philosophy, art, cars (Mini or Beetle?), comedy, soccer, and punk rock. In passing he discusses food, language, and quite a few other topics. Anyone with a passing f [...]


    4. I struggled through this, but was kind of pleased I persevered till the end. There are some interesting comparisons/contrasts about the English/German character but I feel parts of it got a bit turgid/dull in places. Maybe I was looking for something a bit more lighthearted in approachybe the jazzy front cover gave me that impression(don't judge a book')


    5. An affable memoir-with-brains. Some nicely chosen encounters. The football one (as he says himself) can feel rather 'done', but I really liked the pieces on Isherwood, Baader Meinhof (I'd totally forgotten that De Beauvoir millionnaire timewaster Iain Sinclair had written about her) and on *that* bit of film - 'Dinner for One'. I have witnessed 'Dinner for One' at several points in my life, care of kith and kin- it is *so* German. (Let's be honest, it's pure slapstick and (es tut mir Leid) not f [...]


    6. Philip Oltermann left Schleswig-Holstein to live in England with his parents in 1996 when he was 16. In this book he chronicles some historical German reactions to the English and also his own. This is a young man's book - there are chapters on the significance of football encounters between the two countries; how their attitudes to sex and nudity differ; how the less verbal nature of German humour can be attributed to the polysyllabic vocabulary of German and the sentences that are like suspens [...]


    7. After I read Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox to understand the English people who I've been living amongst for almost three years I thought it'd be a good idea to look at the other side and give Philip Oltermann's book a go. And no better idea this could have been. Not only did I learn a lot about German-English relationships that I didn't know about before, Oltermann also manages to come across as a very open minded, friendly German living in England - so [...]


    8. An excellent comparison and commentary of differences between Germany and Britain. Each chapter uses a historical encounter between a Briton and a German to take a look at a different aspect of culture, society, history of politics. The encounters are Heinrich Heine and William Cobbett, Christopher Isherwood and Marlene Dietrich, Theodor Adorno and AJ Ayer (philosophy), Kurt Schwitters in the Lake District (art, gardening and nature), the Beetle and the Mini (manufacturing, motoring), Freddie Fr [...]


    9. I started this with high hopes, having been sorely disappointed in the last book of this ilk. Sadly this turned into a "Germany and Germans and German stuff is far superior to their English counterparts" that I just got irritated.I read it on a Kindle and at around 70%, I was about to jack it in when it ended. The last 30% was taken up with Acknowledgements and a vast bibliography, which should put the rating down to 2 stars, but for the rather splended description of the whole Dinner for One ph [...]


    10. Like so much modern non-fiction, this would benefit from less of the 'personal journey' angle, and better fact-checking (if I can spot an error in a section relating to football, something has gone seriously wrong). And given the topic, it is necessarily prone to generalisation. Nonetheless, for a very quick read it's an amusing and insightful book which explodes a couple of stereotypes, adds shading to others, and isn't afraid to admit the truth of the rest.


    11. I expected this one to be the usual personal account of adjustments the author had to make in relation to his move to England, peppered with miscommunication and misadventures. Oltermann however adds to the mix analysis and random facts about the English and Germans. The book makes for a decent read if you do not fancy a comedy of errors approach to moving countries.


    12. An amusing, but somewhat generalised, insight into the fundamental differences between the two nations. It was also great to discover the story behind 'Dinner for one' :D





    13. I enjoyed 'Keeping up with the Germans', though I also felt it couldn't quite live up to the promise shown in the first chapter.Philip Olterman can write, and I personally enjoyed the memoir parts of the book - no doubt very much helped by the fact that I also moved to the UK when seventeen, so many of the observations mirror my own experiences.The Anglo-German encounters however are a bit of a mixed bag - some of them I very much liked (football being one of them, Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatc [...]


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