I'm giving it five stars for two reasons:
1) Out of respect for tremendous amount of work Mr. Koehler has done to give us this study.
2) If (for whatever reason) you are serious about the subject – this is a must read.
To my humble opinion, the book has some drawbacks:
1) At times, it's a little hard to follow the flow of information. Introduction and the first chapter (about minister Milke) are straightforward, but after that it gets somewhat discombobulated – it alternates between different periods in time. I found myself going back a lot, just to keep track of the structure of the organization and to connect the dots.
2) Mr. Koehler spends quite a bit of time to remind us every now and then how terrible Stazi was. I dare say it is not necessary (as in 'reiterating the obvious').
3) The stile of the narration is rather uneven. Some situations are described in great detail (to the point of being almost superfluous), others are only mentioned briefly – so they appear superficial.
Still – five stars, no doubt. There aren't that many books on the subject; this one is indispensable.
- Paperback: 478 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (17 August 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813337445
- ISBN-13: 978-0813337449
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.2 x 23.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 798 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)