BEFORE THE DELUGE: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920’s

Before the Deluge
A fascinating portrait of the turbulent political, social, and cultural life of the city of Berlin in the 1920s.

Before the Deluge recaptures in an eerie but only too authentic manner the tawdry, dangerous, and undeniably exciting story of the sickness which overcame Germany in the ’20s….No place in the world was so creative and decadent, so despairing and exhilarating….What Cabaret did in musical form Friedrich has captured here.”

— Harrison Salisbury
“A fascinating portrait of a city where art and riot flourished side by side and incredibility was the normal state of things.”
Atlantic Monthly

“Friedrich’s study of Berlin in the pre-Hitler years is so full of lessons…that one has to put it down from time to time to take a breath.”


“It is Otto Friedrich’s grasp of dramatic unity which makes this such a vividly exciting and suggestive book….we are able to see not only the tragic events but also the rich and varied life.”

Stephen Spender, Life

“What a story…in a class with the best of Barbara Tuchman….He has written a splendid book.”

Wolf Von Eckhardt, Washington Post
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