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Publisher's Summary

The “captivating” (The New York Times), definitive biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, detailing the extraordinary rise and political brilliance of the most powerful—and elusive—woman in the world.

Angela Merkel has always been an outsider. A pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany, she spent her twenties working as a research chemist, entering politics only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And yet within fifteen years, she had become chancellor of Germany and, before long, the unofficial leader of the West.

In this “masterpiece of discernment and insight” (The New York Times Book Review), acclaimed biographer Kati Marton sets out to pierce the mystery of Merkel’s unlikely ascent. With unparalleled access to the chancellor’s inner circle and a trove of records only recently come to light, she teases out the unique political genius that had been the secret to Merkel’s success. No modern leader so ably confronted Russian aggression, enacted daring social policies, and calmly unified an entire continent in an era when countries are becoming more divided. Again and again, she cleverly outmaneuvered strongmen like Putin and Trump, and weathered surprisingly complicated relationships with allies like Obama and Macron.

Famously private, the woman who emerges from this “impressively researched” (The Wall Street Journal) account is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while staying true to one’s moral convictions. At once a “riveting” (Los Angeles Review of Books) political biography, an intimate human portrait, and a revelatory look at successful leadership in action, The Chancellor brings forth one of the most extraordinary women of our time.

©2021 Kati Marton. All rights reserved. (P)2021 imon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Kati Marton has come closer than anyone to unlocking the mystery of Angela Merkel, the most important politician of the twenty-first century." (George Packer, National Book Award-winning author of Last Best Hope)

“A compelling and memorable portrait. Angela Merkel’s life is a testament to the power of commitment, diligence, and the possibilities of politics. The Chancellor tells that story with insight and grace.” (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of His Truth is Marching On) 

“With her signature superpowers of rigorous research and unparalleled empathy, Marton brings us deep into the private sphere of Angela Merkel, one of the world’s most critical defenders of democracy.” (Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Amity and Prosperity) 

What listeners say about The Chancellor

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Defying and Despising Trump and Putin

She adamantly believes that lies and deceptions lead to Germany’s darkest chapter in the Nazi regime- she saw the similarities between these two demagogues. She was thoroughly convinced of the Trump nightmare at the insurrection on January 6th, 2021. She was relieved when President Biden (during his October 2021 European Summit visit) declared that America was back. She will now be able to rest easy and retire after 16 triumphant years---Godspeed Angela!!

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What a remarkable leader in these trying times!

I suppose the world would be a dull place if all of our leaders were like Merkel. I really want dull!!!

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Superb. A page-turner biography.

A well-crafted book about a fascinating woman. Merkel becomes real and very human despite her careful self-control. I was sorry when the book ended. I was also learning more about Europe and its leaders.

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Disappointed for sure

I was very excited for this book release as merkles tenure has indeed been a benchmark of leadership and historical relevance. However, this book came up short in really presenting the merkle story. It was definitely laced with more of the authors bias of other leaders, especially trump, rather than the culminating forces which led to the trump phenomenon and the rise of the AfD. There was so much to merkles chancellery, that I can understand it is such a heavy task for any author to attempt. Yet, the lack of a cohesive theme and biographical lens really came up short. I kept waiting to be pulled in, but alas, this book came up short and I would have stopped were it not the fact that merkle herself is a legendary political figure.

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Fantastic insight into Angela Merkel

Wow - what a great book about a remarkable person - even with knowing very little about Angela Merkel I was kept spellbound throughout this whole book. Very easy listen - I am very hopeful that Merkel will someday write her own book - or even have Kati Marton write it for her - Great Job Kati! 10 stars all around!!

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Exellent!

Angela Merkel is person to admire in every way and to look up to.
The book is excellent as well given there is so little personal information on Angela Merkel in public.

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Unexpectedly brilliant

I knew She was brilliant but never expected to fall in love with this world leader. Angela Merkel was a masterful strategist and supremely thoughtful with an unbelievable ability to absorb detail and retain material for future reference.

I was not as in tune with all that she did until I read this book. I fell in love and consider it a great loss that I was not more focused on her long ago.

So worth the time. Well written and filled with facts I should have known more about.
I recommend it highly!

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Superficial, Dashed Expectations

I had high expectations, but this book is woefully superficial. Very few insights. If you follow the news, you will not learn or gain anything from this biography. I will wait for Chancellor Merkel’s autobiography. The narrator’s voice is so dissimilar to the Chancellor’s that it’s really hard to listen to for 10 hours.

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Troubling mispronunciations

Angela Merkel is an amazing person, there’s no doubt. And I am certainly happy that I listened to her story. However, the narrator, while possessing a soothing voice, has so many strange mispronunciations I kept wondering if it was an artificial intelligence narration. Being one who speaks several languages, I found these really troubling and distracting. I might have to go read the book.

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Heroism grounded in truth, endurance and vision

It is difficult to praise this story enough. lt's presentation and impact are outstanding! Read it...