Andreas Platthaus was born in 1966 in Aachen. He studied philosophy, rhetoric and history and edits the literary supplement of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, having been a contributor there since 1992. 2006 saw the publication of his widely praised book Alfred Herrhausen: A German Career. His major work on the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig in 1813 spent months on the Spiegel bestseller list and was lauded by critics. Andreas Platthaus lives in Leipzig and Frankfurt.
ON THE PALISADES: AN AMERICAN DIARY
Beyond Hollywood: Andreas Platthaus explores a deeply divided nation
Four months in Thomas Mann‘s house in Pacific Palisades changes our view of both America and Germany in equal measure. Using this as a starting point, Andreas Platthaus sets off into the great expanse on the trail of the German exile, while simultaneously trying to get to the bottom of current developments in the United States. An old European searches for the key to the New World, both on the west and the east coast, from the Mexican border deep in the desert all the way to the millionaire’s villas high above the Pacific, in Disneyland and among the homeless on the streets. He picks his way through the global society testing lab that is Los Angeles and calls on the works of sources such as Thomas Mann and Quentin Tarantino, who imagined an America we could never have believed possible, but are now experiencing with our very own eyes. With the presidential elections in autumn 2020 looming on the horizon, Andreas Platthaus takes the pulse of our transatlantic cousins. In his American diary, written “on the palisades”, we are confronted with a deeply divided nation to which we are still inextricably bound more than seven decades after the era of the German exiles.