The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel (Hardcover)
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The definitive biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, detailing the remarkable rise and political brilliance of the most powerful—and elusive—woman in the world.
The Chancellor is at once a riveting political biography and an intimate human story of a complete outsider—a research chemist and pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany—who rose to become the unofficial leader of the West.
Acclaimed biographer Kati Marton set out to pierce the mystery of how Angela Merkel achieved all this. And she found the answer in Merkel’s political genius: in her willingness to talk with adversaries rather than over them, her skill at negotiating without ever compromising on what’s most important to her, her canniness in appointing political rivals to her cabinet and exacting their policies so they have no platform to run against her, the humility to allow others to take credit for things done in tandem, the wisdom to stay out of the papers and off Twitter, and the vision to take advantage of crises to enact bold change.
Famously private, the Angela Merkel who emerges in The Chancellor is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while holding onto one’s moral convictions—and for anyone looking to understand how to successfully bridge huge divisions within society. No modern leader has so ably confronted Russian aggression, provided homes to over a million refugees, and calmly unified Europe at a time when other countries are becoming more divided. But Marton also describes Merkel’s many challenges, such as her complicated relationship with President Obama, who she at one point refused to speak to.
This captivating portrait shows a woman who has survived extraordinary challenges to transform her own country and return it to the global stage. Timely and revelatory, this great morality tale shows the difference an exceptional leader can make for the greater good of a country and the world.
About the Author
Kati Marton is the author of True Believer: Stalin's American Spy; Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World; Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History; Wallenberg; The Polk Conspiracy; and A Death in Jerusalem. She is an award-winning former NPR and ABC News correspondent. She lives in New York City.
“Kati Marton has come closer than anyone to unlocking the mystery of Angela Merkel, the most important politician of the twenty-first century."
—George Packer, National Book Award-winning author of Last Best Hope
“A compelling and memorable portrait. Angela Merkel’s life is a testament to the power of commitment, diligence, and the possibilities of politics. The Chancellor tells that story with insight and grace.”
—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of His Truth is Marching On
“With her signature superpowers of rigorous research and unparalleled empathy, Marton brings us deep into the private sphere of Angela Merkel, one of the world’s most critical defenders of democracy.”
—Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Amity and Prosperity
“To understand how we can protect democracy in an era of populist and authoritarian upheaval, we need to understand Angela Merkel. Kati Marton has produced an intimate, insightful portrait of an extraordinarily private leader, who, in her quiet and determined way, made Germany the economic and moral leader of Europe.”
—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker
“Kati Marton’s cogent and penetrating portrait of Angela Merkel will change our understanding of the most powerful woman in the world. With a rare grasp of the subtleties of global politics, Marton explains how an unassuming science PhD from East Germany emerged to save the Western Alliance. It’s a thrilling tale, skillfully told.”
—Jonathan Alter, New York Times bestselling author of His Very Best
“Fascinating. For anyone who thinks they know a lot about Angela Merkel; for anyone who knows nothing about Angela Merkel—pick up this book and do not put it down until the very last page.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Definitive and brilliantly written, The Chancellor reads like a mystery, as if we didn’t yet know the outcome. This is the biography for history!”
—Volker Schlöndorff, Academy Award-winning director of The Tin Drum
“We need many more Angela Merkels in the world; aspiring leaders should start with this book.”
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America
“Marton clearly knows her subject and writes smoothly, pulling back the curtain on an enigmatic, significant world figure…[The Chancellor] captures the essence of a moral, determined leader.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Meticulous and even-handed... Incisive analyses of Merkel’s relationships with other world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, shed light on her geopolitical views and tactics.”