Angela Merkel has transformed German and European politics. Her achievements at home and abroad have seen her top Forbes' most powerful women list ten times and she is still going strong after over ten years in office-yet she may also be the least understood ruler in the world. Her government's hard approach to the crisis in Greece has seen her receive mass criticism worldwide and could well determine the future of the European Union. Based on more than ten years' of study and original archival research (including from the Stasi-archives in Berlin), Matthew Qvortrup gives an account of the cultural, historical and political influences that shaped the life of this incredible woman, combining the narrative of Merkel's life with a lively account of the history of Germany from 1945 to the present day. How did she-a trained scientist with absolutely no political experience-succeed in becoming the first female leader of a German political party, unseating her patron Helmut Kohl? How do she and her staff of mostly female advisors repeatedly outsmart the old boys network of conservative male politicians in Germany?As one of the architects of the harsh gospel of austerity-politics, as the guarantor of stability in the Euro-zone, and latterly chief negotiator over the future of Eastern Ukraine, understanding Merkel is essential for anyone interested in current affairs.
With a UK referendum on the way and her stance on debt relief and Greece, could she end up destroying the European Union?
'Provides insight and clarity ... In his retelling of the trajectory of Merkel's career path, Qvortrup highlights differences in cross-Atlantic political culture in ways no news account can. Qvortrup outlines both the depth and flexibility of a mind and character unbound by the limits of ideology. This eye-opening biography, drawing from rich behind-the-scenes knowledge, is necessary reading for anyone who wants to broaden his or her perspective on the world today.' Kirkus starred review 'A sympathetic, engaging and informative political biography of one of Europe's foremost contemporary leaders. Qvortrup's highly readable prose leads one on a dramatic, whirlwind tour of a history that is still unfolding before us.' Aviel Roshwald, Professor Department of History, Georgetown University 'Written in a lively and engaging style, Angela Merkel is a joy to read. It is an extraordinary and incisive book, which gives us a unique insight into the life and times of the woman who almost single-handedly transformed the politics of her country and of the world.' Arend Lijphart, Research Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of California, San Diego 'In Angela Merkel, Matthew Qvortrup masterfully weaves together the key episodes of this turbulent life and most unlikely political career, and provides compelling evidence that there is no better way toward a deeper understanding of the present than revisiting the past.' Professor Ludger Helms, University of Innsbruck and author of Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chancellors 'In a world full of disappointing national leaders, Matt Qvortrup provides us with an insightful, revealing, vivid reading of a leading woman who tops them all.' Amitai Etzioni, author of The Active Society
Matt Qvortrup is Professor of Political Science at Coventry University. Described by the BBC as 'the world's leading authority on referendums', Professor Qvortrup has published extensively on European politics and history. He has often appeared as an expert for BBC, and he has worked as a consultant for the US State Department. He lives in London.