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MacDonogh, Giles 1955–

MacDonogh, Giles 1955–

PERSONAL:

Surname is pronounced "mac-don-na"; born 1955; son of Redmond Joseph (an actor and playwright) and Elisabeth (a painter) MacDonogh; married Candida Brazil; children: Isolde, Joseph. Education: Balliol College, Oxford, graduated (with honors), 1978; attended École des Hautes Études Pratiques, Sorbonne, University of Paris, 1980-83. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES:

Home and office—London, England. Agent—Capel & Land, 29 Wardour St., London W1 D6PS, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Teacher of English as a foreign language in Paris, France, 1979-82; University of Paris II, Paris, chargé de travaux dirigés for legal English, 1982-83; Schiller International University, lecturer in history, 1983-84; public relations consultant, 1985-86; freelance journalist, 1986—; University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzi, Italy, lecturer, 2006-07. Occasional contributor to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

MEMBER:

International PEN.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Shortlisted for Andre Simon Prize, 1987; Glenfiddich Special Award, 1988, for A Palate in Revolution: Grimod de La Reyniere and the Almanach des Gourmands.

WRITINGS:

A Palate in Revolution: Grimod de La Reyniere and the Almanach des Gourmands, Robin Clark, 1987.

A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz, Quartet Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Brillat-Savarin: The Judge and His Stomach, J. Murray (London, England), 1991, I.R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 1992.

The Wine and Food of Austria, 1992.

Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, 1992.

Prussia: The Perversion of an Idea, Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994.

The Wines of Austria: A Traveller's Guide, 1997.

Berlin, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Frederick the Great: A Life in Deed and Letters, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

The Last Kaiser: William the Impetuous, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000, published as The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 200.

(Translator) The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Hitler's Personal Aides, Public Affairs (New York, NY), 2005.

Portuguese Table Wines, Grub Street Publishing (London, England), 2006.

After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2007.

(Translator) Melissa Müller and Reinhold Piechocki, A Garden of Eden in Hell, Macmillian, 2007.

Contributor to Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine, Webster's Wine Guide, The Faber Book of Food, The W.H. Smith Companion to Wine, The Sainsbury's Wine Guide, The Global Encyclopedia of Wine, A Century of Wine, Great Wine Tours of the World, Wines of the World, Classic Malts of Scotland—An Appreciation, Oxford Companion to Food, second edition, and 1001 Wines to Drink before You Die. Wine correspondent, SundayToday, 1986; food, drink, and travel correspondent and author of column "Food for Thought," Financial Times, 1989-2001. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals. Editor, Made in France International, 1984.

SIDELIGHTS:

Giles MacDonogh has written books on several subjects, including histories of wine and of French gastronomic writing, and on various aspects of German history. In A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz, he gives readers an intimate look into the world of Nazi Germany through the biography of an anti-Nazi aristocrat. Adam von Trott zu Solz had a deep love for his country but was keenly aware of the corruption infecting it during Hitler's rise to power. He tried to do everything he could to remain loyal and yet principled, and to stop the Nazi cause while remaining on cordial terms with the leadership of the Third Reich. His twisted course and its ineffectiveness drew scorn and hatred from many, and Trott himself seemed poisoned by his choices. A Good German is "a fine biography and an evocative portrait of Trott's times," mused a contributor to Kirkus Reviews.

In 1998, MacDonogh published Berlin, a collection of personal and historical vignettes about the German capital. Moving from the first settlements to his own visit during the fall of communist rule in 1989, he focuses for the most part on the nineteenth century, when Berlin began to emerge as a great European city. Rather than approaching his subject in strictly chronological order, MacDonogh used a thematic approach, dividing his work into seven chapters with titles such as "Berlin Life," "Berlin Itineraries," and "Ich bin ein Berliner." Berlin is, in the words of Zachary T. Irwin in the Library Journal, "less a history than a vast thematic tour that defies summary." Jay Freeman in Booklist praised MacDonogh's cultural review, "from art to architecture to beer drinking," as "both engaging and enlightening. This is a highly readable and informative survey."

MacDonogh next turned his attention to the king known as Frederick the Great—Frederick II of Prussia. An amazingly energetic, brilliant man, Frederick is comparable in some ways to America's Thomas Jefferson or Britain's William Gladstone. His intellectual and artistic interests were highly developed, yet he was also a renowned general. Liberals and authoritarians both find attributes to admire in Frederick. In Frederick the Great: A Life in Deed and Letters, MacDonogh's "wide-ranging and often compelling portrait, all of the varied facets of this complex man are examined," observed Jay Freeman in Booklist. Freeman praised the author's research as "excellent" and his style as able to "eloquently convey the conflicts and immense personal dynamism that lay behind his subject's ambitions and accomplishments." The book is a "gem," particularly for readers looking for a good introduction to Frederick the Great, wrote Randall L. Schroeder in the Library Journal, and a Kirkus Reviews writer concluded that Frederick the Great was "a captivating, diverse study of an equally fascinating figure."

In After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation MacDonogh chronicles the sufferings of German soldiers and civilians after the end of World War II. According to his estimate, some three million German lives were lost at the war's end. Of these, about a million were soldiers, most of whom were detained in Russian POW camps. The remainder were civilians who either died of hunger, disease, or cold; took their own lives; or were deliberately killed. As borders were redrawn after the war, ethnic German populations were expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other regions. In occupied Germany, girls and women of all ages were subjected to rape, especially at the hands of Soviet soldiers but also by other Allied troops. Observing that "MacDonogh tries to demonstrate that the French and American occupations … were sometimes as brutal as the Soviet," Norman Naimark emphasized that even the worst abuses of the French and American forces never "approached the violence of the Soviet occupation in the east: The millions of Germans who fled to the west before 1961, when the Wall cut off the exodus, are witnesses enough to this fact."

Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, praised After the Reich as an "eloquent account" that should elicit the compassion of readers. Expressing a similar view of the book, History Today critic Nigel Jones deemed it a "superb book written by a sympathetic writer in perfect control of his often dreadful material."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, June, 1993, review of A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz, p. 897.

Booklist, January 15, 1995, Gilbert Taylor, review of Prussia: The Perversion of an Idea, p. 893; August 19, 1998, Jay Freeman, review of Berlin, p. 1957; May 1, 2001, Brad Hooper, review of The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II, p. 1660; July 1, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation, p. 22.

Bookwatch, July, 1993, review of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, p. 6.

Choice, January, 1993, review of A Good German, p. 861; May, 1995, review of Prussia, p. 1506.

Contemporary Review, June 1, 2002, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 378.

Economist, April 15, 2000, David Fraser, review of Frederick the Great: A Life in Deed and Letters, p. 6; October 7, 2000, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 156; October 7, 2000, "German History—the Kibosh on the Kaiser," p. 102.

German Studies Review, May 1, 2002, Eric Dorn Brose, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 363.

History: Review of New Books, spring, 2002, Arden Bucholz, review of The Last Kaiser.

History Today, November 1, 2000, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 54; June 1, 2007, Nigel Jones, review of After the Reich, p. 64.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1992, review of A Good German; June 15, 1998, review of Berlin, p. 876; March 15, 2000, review of Frederick the Great, p. 360; June 1, 2007, review of After the Reich.

Library Journal, April 15, 2000, Randall L. Schroeder, review of Frederick the Great, p. 100; August, 1998, Zachary T. Irwin, review of Berlin, p. 109; June 15, 2001, Randall L. Schroeder, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 81; November 1, 2005, Frederic Krome, review of The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Hitler's Personal Aides, p. 96.

London Review of Books, November 24, 1994, review of Prussia, p. 18.

New Leader, November 1, 2005, "At Home with the Fuhrer," p. 26.

New York Review of Books, December 17, 1992, review of A Good German, p. 38.

Observer (London, England), June 8, 1997, review of Berlin, p. 15.

Publishers Weekly, June 29, 1998, review of Berlin, p. 44; March 27, 2000, review of Frederick the Great, p. 62; June 25, 2001, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 64; July 9, 2007, review of After the Reich, p. 48.

Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2006, review of The Hitler Book.

Spectator, November 21, 1992, review of Brillat-Savarin: The Judge and His Stomach, p. 40; September 3, 1994, review of Prussia, p. 39; April 17, 1999, review of Frederick the Great, p. 38; July 7, 2007, "The Price of Defeat."

Times Literary Supplement, October 23, 1992, review of Brillat-Savarin, p. 32; December 4, 1992, review of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, p. 23; December 2, 1994, review of Prussia, p. 26; October 10, 1997, review of Berlin, p. 33; April 16, 1999, review of Berlin, p. 7; January 19, 2001, James J. Sheehan, review of The Last Kaiser, p. 11; August 24, 2007, "The Old Menu," p. 9.

Washington Post Book World, February 5, 1995, review of Prussia, p. 13; August 26, 2007, "The Squall after the Whirlwind: A British Historian Takes Americans to Task for Their Role in the Post-World War II Occupation," p. 11.

Weekly Standard, November 12, 2007, "Germans as Victims; Recovering from the Third Reich."

World War II, December, 2007, Antulio J. Echevarria, review of After the Reich, p. 81.

ONLINE

Curled Up with a Good Book, http://www.curledup.com/ (March 6, 2008), David Roy, review of After the Reich.

Giles MacDonogh Home Page, http://www.macdonogh.co.uk/index.htm (March 29, 2008).

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