‘The status of women is a global challenge; it touches every human being without exception. How is it possible that countries where women have achieved political, economic and social rights after exhausting struggles remain seemingly indifferent to the egregiousness of other nations where the status of women is still tragic? The time has come to help those left behind. The lack of interest stems from two important and connected factors: public opinion with regard to the status of women is not strong enough to force lawmakers to fight for their rights, at home or abroad; and there are not enough women in political and economic leadership roles to act as standard-bearers for the campaign of reform. These two factors are inextricably linked: one affects the other and vice versa…’
Already a bestseller in Italy, this translation has been extensively revised by the author to incorporate recent events that impinge on women’s rights and the struggle to achieve equality.
Paola Diana is an entrepreneur, author, activist and host of the YouTube show ‘Unleashed. The Game Changers’. She is the founder and CEO of a global recruitment company, leader in the household and secretarial staff sector and she is producing a documentary series based on social issues such as knife crime, domestic violence, racism and homelessness. As a successful female entrepreneur and women’s rights expert, Diana contributes regularly to TV and radio in the UK and Italy. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 she was named on the prestigious Spear’s 500 list.
So, I've always thought of myself as a feminist. I was bought up by strong, indepenent and outspoken women, and as such have never had an issue respecting the authority of women, or happily accepting the fact that they are equal to men in every way (and in some ways, superior)!
With this in mind, I wasn't sure what to expect from Paola Diana's book - in previous jobs I've served on Diversity Iniatives to ensure that the hiring of women is fair and equal, and worked on panels to combat inequalities. However, as is clearly pointed out in this well thought out book - I was clearly focusing on easy tasks, and not looking at the bigger picture or the bigger problems that women still face.
Diana explores these in detail, travelling around the world to explore the inequalities and injustices that women face. She doesn't hold back - for those who may have been ignoring just how unfair some countries are, they're explored here and will likely shock you.
This is a book intended to inspire and to provoke change, and it does exactly that for me - opening my eyes and spurring me on to make a difference. I think my only thought on something that this book could have done better, would be exploring the fact that gender has become less binary over the last few years - there are some interesting dialogues that definitely need to be addressed with that in mind - but I appreciate that they may have taken away slightly from the main drive of Diana's words. Maybe in the sequel! Powerful and inspiring, this is well worth a read.
Many thanks to MidasPR for the copy
Based on a lifetime living in and reporting on Germany and Central Europe, award-winning journalist and author Peter Millar tackles the fascinating and complex story of the people at the heart of our continent.
Focussing on nine cities (only six of which are in the Germany of today) he takes us on a zigzag ride back through time via the fall of the Berlin Wall through the horrors of two world wars, the patchwork states of the Middle Ages, to the splendour of Charlemagne and the fall of Rome, with side swipes at everything on the way, from Henry VIII to the Spanish Empire.
Peter recollects remarkable anecdotes from his time as a young journalist in Berlin from sneaking into the forbidden city of Kaliningrad, his expulsion from Germany after getting arrested on the streets of East Berlin during the demonstrations which accompanied Gorbachev's visit in 1989, being a target of the Stasi with 29 microphones hidden in the walls of his apartment and witnessing spectacular and transformative moments in history from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the end of the Soviet Union.
This book takes Peter – and the reader – from one side of the Germanic world to the other, from Königsberg on the Baltic (today’s Russian Kaliningrad), founded by the Teutonic Knights, to Strassburg on the banks of the Rhine (today’s French Strasbourg). We visit the restored great cities of Hamburg and Dresden, both all but eradicated by British and American bombers in World War II, to Berlin itself, the small northern city that became an imperial capital, and at the other extreme today’s capital of a small Alpine Republic, which for centuries was the German-speaking heart of Europe, while the Gates of Vienna were the last bulwark of Christendom.
The Germans and Europe includes mini portraits of German culture from sex and money to food and drink. Not just a book about Germany but about Europe as a whole and how we got where we are today, and where we might be tomorrow.
I've always found Germany, and Berlin in particular, to be fascinating. I'm descended from German Jewish refugees who came over to England prior to WWII, but, as you can imagine, they lost most of their family during the War, and as such saw little reason to visit their homeland at all. So it's a place I've always strived to find a connection too - and one I've often sought through history books and literature. Millar's personal tough ensures that this broad history has a personal touch to is - and his experience of life in Germany should ensure that this is a marvellously accurate read!
Peter Millar is an award-winning journalist, author and translator. Born in Co.Down. Ireland, Peter read French and Russian at Oxford, lived in Paris , then Brussels as a reporter for Reuters .In early 1981, at the age of 26, he was sent as correspondent to East Berlin, then to Moscow, where he lived three years, from the death of Brezhnev to the rise of Gorbachev. His career, including the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and European, took him to Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest and Belgrade, as well as throughout Germany.
Peter was named Foreign Correspondent of the Year in 1989 for his reporting on the dying stages of the Cold War, his account of which – 1989: The Berlin Wall, My Part in its Downfall( 2009, 2014) – was named ‘best read’ by The Economist.
Peter’s books span both fiction and non-fiction including Stealing Thunder (1999) All Gone to Look for America (2009), The Shameful Suicide of Winston Churchill (2010), and Slow Train to Guantanamo (2013). He speaks, German, French, Russian and Spanish, as well as English.