- Hardcover: 584 pages
- Publisher: The Bodley Head; First UK Edition edition (1987)
- Language: English, German
- ISBN-10: 0370310314
- ISBN-13: 978-0370310312
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,448,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Baader-Meinhof Group. The Inside Story Of A Phenomenon Hardcover – Import, 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
I have two major criticisms of the book: the first is its leaps in chronology. Sometimes Aust skips months and years to follow a thread through to its end, and this often creates confusion as to what happened when. While it's clear that he does this to illustrate a point or follow someone's involvement, it was confusing as often as not.
The second criticism, and a major failing for me, is that Aust fails to provide much of any kind of context for the time. We are given next to no background on the social or political or economic climate in which the Group operated. At first this seems to tilt the book in the Group's favor (as does the choice of photographs, all of which are of members of the Group or their supporters and none of which feature their victims), since everyting is told from their viewpoint. But this lapse shifts towards condemning the Group, since we never get a feel for what they were fighting against and why or how it could have seemed so important to commit themselves to violence. Aust ends the book with: "They were seven years that changed West Germany." But you would never know that from the book, as there is virtually no account of how the public at large responded to the Group.
A minor note is how startling it is to find out for the first time, on page 100, that Aust knew some of the Group and that he assisted in the kidnapping/rescue of Meinhoff's children. A little disclosure at the beginning seems only fair.