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BOOK REVIEW

MENSCH, SCHRÖDER

Photographs by Dieter Blum and Konrad R. Müller

 

Gerhard Schröder
© Mensch, Schröder
Photo © Konrad R. Müller

 

 

By Antoine du Rocher

NEW YORK, 11 September 2005—National parliamentary elections will take place in Germany on 18 September, and German citizens will decide whether Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder remains at the helm of the Federal Republic or be replaced by his challenger the conservative Christian Democratic Union leader Angela Merkel. Meanwhile, in a timely new book, German photographers Dieter Blum and Konrad R. Müller attempt a closer look at the public figure and character of Chancellor Schröder.

Entitled  Mensch, Schröder, Blum and Müller's images document the colourful photo-ops of the international politician during state visits abroad, and more interesting, several black and white close-ups, portraits and austere work sessions. While not ascending to the level of a Thomas Struth or Andreas Gursky, these images manage to capture, here and there, the enormity of the German Chancellor's political task and maneuvers since he inherited a reunified Germany and the Euro, and the visible transformation and solitude that comes with power.

The book also includes a series of essays in German and English by cabinet ministers, business leaders, journalists and friends which give the reader an overview and decidedly admirative  assessment of Chancellor Schröder's rise from stultifying poverty as a  child in Lower Saxony to the media-savvy successor of strongman Helmut Kohl who later defied President Bush on the Iraq war . While the commentaries run the gamut from critical assessments by journalists, to plaudits from business leaders, political colleagues and personal friends, the real insight is in Blum and Müller's photographs and the portrait of the man that they provide. 

 

Mensch, Schröder  
Dieter Blum, Konrad R. Müller
teNeues, New York, London, Düsseldorf; November 2005
224 pp., Flexicover
c. 190 color and b/w photographs
Text in English and German
US $ 35.00
ISBN: 3-8327-9084-5

Collector's Edition
Limited Edition 
Mensch, Schröder
  
Dieter Blum, Konrad R. Müller
teNeues, New York, London, Düsseldorf; November 2005
224 pp., Flexicover, linen slipcase
and two signed photo-prints
c. 190 color and b/w photographs
Text in English and German
US $ 300.00 / Can. $ 435.00 
ISBN: 3-8327-9094-2



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