What We Are Reading Today: Uncanny Valley

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Updated 04 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Uncanny Valley

Author: Anna Wiener

Anna Weiner’s Uncanny Valley is a memoir of working in Silicon Valley in her mid-20s.
“Part coming-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Wiener’s memoir is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power,” said a review in goodreads.com.
“With wit, candor, and heart, Anna deftly charts the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment,” said the review.
Wiener’s story “lends significant insight into this world, which at times feels very much like an alternate reality from the rest of the country.”
Lauren Oyler said in a review for The New York Times that just as Wiener wants to believe that tech can solve the world’s problems, she is sympathetic to the Bay Area’s “new-school old-schoolers” who are “sorting out a way to live,” obsessed with “radical honesty,” “processing” and “checking in.”


What We Are Reading Today: Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer

Updated 03 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer

Author: Volker R. Berghahn

Journalists between Hitler and Adenauer takes an in-depth look at German journalism from the late Weimar period through the postwar decades. Illuminating the roles played by journalists in the media metropolis of Hamburg, Volker Berghahn focuses on the lives and work of three remarkable individuals: Marion Countess Dönhoff, distinguished editor of Die Zeit; Paul Sethe, “the grand old man of West German journalism” and Hans Zehrer, editor in chief of Die Welt.
All born before 1914, Dönhoff, Sethe, and Zehrer witnessed the Weimar Republic’s end and opposed Hitler. When the latter seized power in 1933, they were, like their fellow Germans, confronted with the difficult choice of entering exile, becoming part of the active resistance, or joining the Nazi Party.
 Instead, they followed a fourth path—“inner emigration”—psychologically distancing themselves from the regime, their writing falling into a gray zone between grudging collaboration and active resistance. During the war, Dönhoff and Sethe had links to the 1944 conspiracy to kill Hitler, while Zehrer remained out of sight on a North Sea island. In the decades after 1945, all three became major figures in the West German media. Berghahn considers how these journalists and those who chose inner emigration interpreted Germany’s horrific past and how they helped to morally and politically shape the reconstruction of the country.