Stefan Koch, born in 1966, is longtime political editor at the Hannoversche Allgemeine newspaper and its correspondent in Berlin. In the spring and summer of 2010, the long-time America Kenner lived in the US, and his current impressions he has held in the little book “Sketches from Washington.” In twenty chapters, he first reported on the political current state of the government of Barack Obama – you could say: “After the election is before the election …” – about the city of Washington, its people and problems in order to subsequently impressions from other Americas play.
While Washington appears as a boom-town of the future, but the race problem still has not the capital under control. In the eastern district of Anacostia the colored people live in isolation and under itself. Here one is not sure of his life. Unemployment is high, which makes it attractive way into criminal activities inevitably.
To the west live the white people who are exposed to an unprotected competition and have to work mostly hard to make their living standards to some extent to make ends meet to bring to can.
This includes the high cost of the best education possible to generate the children. It is common that both spouses have a job – often several. From a retirement age of 65 or a little protection in the event of unemployment or illness in America no one is dreaming. Who can afford to make in a week’s vacation and then fly to Europe.
cook book lives primarily from its reportage portraits selective events and experiences that he describes so vividly that you can take a direct and to watch says.
On Memorial Day as a biker meeting will be held, which has established itself over the years as the largest of the US and won an expanded national function: The majority are veterans, war veterans. One thinks of war victims, lays wreaths on the various monuments down, e.g. in Arlington. What connects the community of veterans are, to master their trauma their mental and / or physical verses pollutions, their political disappointments, often their difficulties, the everyday American. Koch calls the global war theaters and the numbers of the fallen.
Then cook leaves the focal point of Washington and visited Lancaster County, where 28,000 Amish live in their strict religious community. In addition to their backward way of life largely without any modern technology he describes the history of these people who emigrated in the 18th century from southern Germany to the United States, many of whom still speak their ancient German dialect. The ever closer to her advancing “Englishman” estimate their reliability in trade and morality. Each Amish teens must two years exploring the free outside world and then has to decide forever – for or against life as Amisher; 85% choose their traditional community.
One of America’s greatest (and Obama’s) problems is the permanent flow of illegal immigrants. Many citizens waiting he finally act create a legal regulation. The right civic movement “Tea Party” calls for a radical solution – deportation or arrest – so is well received and creates pressure.
Stefan Koch had dealt for years with the history of Russian Germans;. he is one of the founding members of the “German Society of Friends of Kazakhstan”. So it is only logical that he abstattet “Little Odessa”, a Russian community in a district of New York, a visit. There, too, one lives completely self-sufficient with its own shops and with the Russian language. In a cafe he meets Jurij, the most successful Russian artists in New York. He is Stefan Koch was the place in Vermont, where live in the seventies and eighties Alexander Solzhenitsyn as an asylum seeker in peace and protected from the Russian secret service of the great-nephew of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The last chapter is dedicated .
I have loved Stefan Koch’s “sketches from Washington.” Particularly beneficial I found that Koch (unlike other best-selling authors) never turns up or the conceit of superiority of thousands of years of European culture on American Essens- or other lifestyle habits nose they ridiculed as curiosities. The reader can not influenced his own opinion on the basis of what he “sees” itself. There are plenty of passages that suggest our thoughts such as, “Oh, it’s us well here in Germany!” . – or vice versa: “America, you’re better,” “America is still the land of opportunity”.
Stefan Koch’s writing style is that of professional journalists: precise, clear, vivid, colorful, detailed, largely value-free, understandable for everyone. Even if the reader some content will be already known (people about the Amish, there were already several reports and feature films), so, this book yet sufficiently timely and interesting reading material that maintains entertaining. The book is for Frankfurt book fair on October 7, 2010 presents.