Harper Academic

Forty Autumns

A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall

by Nina Willner

On Sale: 08/15/2017

Price: $15.99

Forty Autumns

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Forty Autumns

A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall

by Nina Willner

On Sale: 08/15/2017

Format:

Price: $15.99

About the Book

To students today, the Cold War is a distant memory, as the fall of the USSR occurred in 1991, before most college students were born. It is easy for them to see the Cold War as an example of American fear and even paranoia. Students often believe that spies, subterfuge, and secret missions are the inventions of Hollywood films and popular novels, making it difficult for educators to convey the real threats, fears, and casualties of the time from 1945-1991.

Forty Autumns captures the experience of the Cold War in East Germany and the United States, told through the eyes of one family. It provides an accessible and readable way to teach students about the events of the Cold War, as well as the human cost of the oppressive regime in East Germany. The timeline at the start of the book connects the familys story to the broader Cold War, and the book clearly delineates major world eventsmaking Forty Autumns a useful supplement as students learn about American and European history from World War II to the present.

Critical Praise

“An excellent and intriguing account of the impact of the Cold War on families and their lives on either side of the Berlin Wall.” - Library Journal (starred review)

“Willner’s epic memoir traverses three generations of mothers, recounting the tragedy, estrangement, and overwhelming courage of a family torn apart…. Her interrogative and unabashed voice explores the painful intersection of national duty and familial responsibilities…. A thrilling and relevant read for historians and casual readers alike.” - Publishers Weekly

Thoughtful and informative, Willner’s book not only offers a personal view of the traumatic effects of German partition. It also celebrates the enduring resilience of the human spirit. A poignant and engrossing, occasionally harrowing, family memoir.” - Kirkus Reviews

[A] moving account of one family’s life under tyranny… Willner’s sensitive and well-written account causes us to reflect on what is really important to us and how we would react in a similar situation.” - BookPage

“This book is kind, honest, incredibly well-written, and important, a testament to humanity and courage.” - LitHub

“[A] meticulous and compassionate family memoir… Charting the twists and turns of politics in communist East Germany over more than four decades, it shows how currents of repression and reform affected individual lives.” - Chicago Tribune

Forty Autumns is both an informative and timely read. In this increasingly tumultuous modern era when borders, both theoretical and physical, have once again become the front lines of critical issues such as immigration reform, pervasive prejudice and terrorism, stories like Willner’s are especially important.” - BookReporter

“Even if you well know the story of the East German sequester, you will be drawn to [Willner’s] family story of living through the worst of times.” - Manhattan Book Review

“A poignant parable of hope and, at times, a harrowing ghost story.” - Christian Science Monitor

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062410320
  • ISBN 10: 0062410326
  • Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • On Sale: 08/15/2017
  • Trimsize: 5.313 in (w) x 8.000 in (h) x 1.063 in (d)
  • Pages: 416
  • List Price: $15.99
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical
  • BISAC3: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military