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Dietrich & Riefenstahl Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives by Karin Wieland at Abbey's Bookshop,

Dietrich & Riefenstahl Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives

Karin Wieland Shelley Frisch



Film, TV & Radio;
Individual actors & performers;
Biography: arts & entertainment;
Gender studies: women;
Cinema industry


624 pages

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Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, born less than a year apart, lived so close to each other that Riefenstahl could see into Dietrich's Berlin flat. Coming of age in the Weimar Republic, both sought fame in Germany's silent film industry. While Dietrich's depiction of Lola Lola in The Blue Angel catapulted her to Hollywood stardom, Riefenstahl-who missed out on the part-insinuated herself into Hitler's inner circle and directed Nazi propaganda films, most famously, Triumph of the Will. Dietrich could never truly go home again, while Riefenstahl was contaminated by her political associations. Moving deftly between two stories never before told together, Karin Wieland contextualises these lives, chronicling revolutions in politics, fame and sexuality on a grand stage.

By:   Karin Wieland
Translated by:   Shelley Frisch
Imprint:   Liveright
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 230mm,  Width: 145mm,  Spine: 35mm
Weight:   1g
ISBN:   9781631492280
ISBN 10:   1631492284
Pages:   624
Publication Date:   December 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Karin Wieland lives in Berlin and is an historian of political theory at the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Culture. Shelley Frisch is the prize-winning translator of biographies of Nietzsche, Einstein, and Kafka. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Wieland is shrewd...about her subjects and has done serious work...that give her book credibility, texture, and unending interest. This is the story of two glamorous women whose achievements in another time might have been no more substantial than the images on a screen but who assumed real-life roles with the highest historical stakes. -- Claudia Roth Pierpont - The New Yorker In this lively, deliciously gossipy dual biography, Karin Wieland treats both with great sympathy but also clear-eyed assessment. -- Kate Tuttle - Boston Globe [With] hypnotic power... Wieland uses these two virtuosos' lives to generate piercing insights about ambition, ego, creativity and the life-changing, world-altering repercussions of a momentous choice. -- Michael Sragow - Washington Post Illuminating... Via a fluent, often witty translation by Shelley Frisch, Wieland draws the portrait of women who were ambitious to a degree stunning in their day. Moreover, by tracking their divergent careers together, she is able subtly to suggest some answers to a question that hangs over every mid-century German artist: what kind of responses were available to the Nazi apocalypse? -- Farran Smith Nehme - The Guardian (UK) A sweeping, revelatory dual biography. -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl have found an ideal biographer in Karin Wieland. She brings a lively style, a wealth of detail, and a perfect balance between skeptical objectivity and measured sympathy to her account of the parallel and then diverging lives of these two ambitious women. -- Celia Applegate, Vanderbilt University

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