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The House by the Lake


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A personal and panoramic new history of Germany in the twentieth century by the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hanns and Rudolf

About the Author

Thomas Harding is an author and journalist who has written for the Financial Times, the Sunday Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, among other publications. He co-founded a television station in Oxford, England, and for many years was an award-winning documentary maker. He also ran a local newspaper in West Virginia, winning the West Virginia Association of Justice's Journalist of the Year Award, before moving back to England in 2011, where he now lives with his family. He is the author of Hanns and Rudolf, a Sunday Times bestseller and winner of the JQ-Wingate Prize; the internationally acclaimed Kadian Journal- A Father's Story; The House by the Lake, a Costa Biography Award and Orwell Prize nominee; and Blood on the Page, winner of the 2018 Golden Dagger Award for Non-Fiction.


A passionate memoir about Germany. -- Neil MacGregor, author of A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation
A superb portrait of twentieth century Germany seen through the prism of a house which was lived in, and lost, by five different families. A remarkable book. -- Tom Holland
In The House by the Lake, the simple villa loved and lost by Thomas Harding's family magically becomes the setting for the great clashes of the twentieth century, and for a technicolour cast - victims, villains and ordinary compromisers - struggling not to be crushed by them. Personal and panoramic, heart-wrenching yet uplifting, this is history at its most alive. -- A. D. Miller, bestselling author of Snowdrops and The Faithful Couple
I loved this book. I admire the elegance of it, the hope, the honesty and the generousness with which every resident is given his or her place. It has made me think about our individual parts in the bigger story, and the coming and going-ness of things. It is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. -- Rachel Joyce
Diamond brilliant... the history of modern Germany as seen through the windows of the wooden house beside the lake. This is an extraordinary book. -- John Lewis-Stempel * Sunday Express *
A superb work of social history, told with tremendous narrative verve. -- Ian Critchley * Sunday Times *
This is far more than a family memoir: by tracing the lives of the different families who lived there, Harding sheds light on the German 20th century, a tale of war, spies, murder and political, social and racial division . . . His account of the house is a superb work of social history, told with tremendous narrative verve. * Sunday Times *
Thomas Harding again pulls off the admirable feat of showing us anew the history of German's troubled twentieth century by focusing on a single story. With the narrative drive of a great novelist and the meticulous research of a great historian, Harding has crafted a moving, instructive and important book. -- Dan Brotzel * The Herald *
It would be hard to write an original and moving account of the tortured twentieth-century history of Germany. But, in The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding succeeds remarkably... a tragic and beautifully told history. -- Oliver Kamm * Jewish Chronicle *
An unusual, evocative and moving account of modern Germany...The book succeeds remarkably, in providing a fresh and original insight into the twin totalitarian systems that disfigured Germany in the twentieth century. * The Times, 'Books of the Year' *

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