Angela Merkel: Europe’s Most Influential Leader – Book Review

By: Matt Qvortrup

For some time now I have been looking for a biography written about Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Merkel has interested me for many years and I believe she is an incredible role model for women. Regardless of where you stand politically seeing a women lead one of the largest economies in the world is an incredible thing. After a couple weeks of research I chose, Angela Merkel: Europe’s Most Influential Leader by Matt Qvortrup to learn more about this inspirational woman.

The beginning of this book logically began with Angela Merkel’s childhood, which I really enjoyed reading about. I was shocked to hear that her family moved from West Germany to East Germany. A move that many questioned, especially since Angela’s father was a minister and communism frowned upon religion. She was asked to volunteer with various communist organization, which she obliged because to decline the offer would mean no possibility of being accepted into university. She did as she was told in order to avoid any scrutiny from government officials, she knew she and her family were always being watched. She gets accepted to university and begins to study physics, eventually completing her doctorate in quantum chemistry. These are just a few of the Merkel’s accomplishments.

Eventually the book progresses to her political life, exploring how she initially got into politics and how she made her way up the ranks. The book also explores the difficulties she faced as a woman politician during that time. Showing, even more, how impressive her progression in the political sphere really was. Qvortrup also explores her Chancellorship, focusing on her accomplishments and her disappointments.

Unfortunately, once the book got to Merkel’s political career, the book was a bit hard to get through.  The author gave too many details on the specifics of the political world of Germany.  As someone who is not from Germany, I was a bit confused, it just seemed the author moved too far away from the main topic.  At this point in the book, my interest began to decline. It took me some time to convince myself to keep reading this biography and to complete her story.

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