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Issue 33 (2019-2020)

This issue of the Berlin Journal (#33) opens with a suite of related essays on the fragility and composition of democracy: Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky from their new book, How Democracies Die; Steven Klein on the role of debt in the political economies of post-WWII democracies; and Laura D’Andrea Tyson on how Germany is successfully navigating the automation of its industrial sector. Writer Adam Ehrlich Sachs offers a story of related metaphorical portent, about a blind astronomer who predicts a solar eclipse, and Suki Kim reports from inside the world’s darkest regime, North Korea. The 2019 Andrew W. Mellon workshop “Double Exposures” occassioned essays by Rosalind Morris, Natacha Nsabimana, and Yvette Christiansë, on the past and present of “extraction” from the African continent, physical and moral, and Miriam Ticktin offers a timely reflection on walls and immigration. Short stories by Angela Flournoy and Paul La Farge allude to slavery’s deep echo into the suburban present, as epitaphs and apparitions. European literary history forms another cluster of interest, with Azade Seyhan on Heinrich Heine; Tatyana Gershkovich on Vladimir Nabokov; and in Veronika Fuechtner’s interview with novelist Frido Mann. Finally, Liliane Wiessberg offers an entertaining foray into the history of the postcard. Plus, an artist portfolio by Renée Green, book reviews, and news from the Hans Arnhold Center. (Cover artist: Betsy Brandes)

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