Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy New
$16.31
Qty:1
  • List Price: $22.95
  • Save: $6.64 (29%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Seven Addictions and ... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity Paperback – May 1, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.31
$11.08 $7.81

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
Hold Still
The popular new release from Sally Mann. Learn more | See author page
$16.31 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity
  • +
  • Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Expanded Edition)
  • +
  • Horizontal Collaboration: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946
Total price: $67.35
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The life and death of Anita Berber (1899-1928), who was what we would now call a performance artist, are inseparable from the frantically erotic climate of Weimar Germany, as this tabloid-style tell-all biography by Gordon (Voluptuous Panic) makes abundantly clear. A child of divorce, the Dresden-raised Berber began dancing at 16, earning major Berlin reviews and working in film by 1918; she began dancing nude in 1919, and did films titled Prostitution and Different from the Others that same year. Gordon provides numerous photos and titillating anecdotes taking readers from that point to Berber's death in a Beirut nightclub (including her alleged sexual enslavement to a woman and the woman's 15-year-old daughter). This intriguing, haphazard document offers a plethora of clues into a the life of a woman whose repertoire included a dance entitled "The Corpse on the Dissecting Table." Berber's life cries out for thorough study, such as that recently accorded inspired Dadaist Baroness Else von Freytag-Loringhoven.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Mel Gordon is Professor of Theater Arts at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of twelve books, including "The Grand Guignol," "Dada Performance," "The Stanislavsky Technique," and the Feral House titles, "Erik Jan Hanussen: Hitler's Jewish Clairvoyant" and "The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber."
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932595120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932595123
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jim on September 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a quick read: most of it is double-spaced; there are a lot of pictures; there are pages of expressionist poetry by Berber or one of her husbands; there are descriptions of her dance routines. It's an interesting book just the same and I enjoyed reading it. It took me two days. Gordon put together a pleasing biographical narrative from a number of foreign sources, including non-English autobiographies, German magazines, and newspapers of the day. He neither extols Anita as a liberated woman nor labels her self-destruction as the death of a reprobate. He doesn't psychoanalyze her post facto but recounts her actions--many of which were seriously outrageous--in a matter-of-fact manner. Consequently the narrative may strike some as remote and indifferent or, on the other hand, as an attempt not to get in the way of a good story that is absurd in its own right.
Berber was an expressionist dancer in Weimar Berlin as Germany changed from a self-assured, tightly controlled, buttoned-down society to one awash with cynicism, war guilt, debt and anxiety. The smart urban set who could still afford a nightlife cast their sentiments with avant-garde artistes who had protested Wilhelmian sexual and lifestyle repression through dance and graphic art for years. This became the "in" thing. Turning nineteen in this atmosphere the red-haired Ms. Berber, daughter of a dancer and trained as a dancer herself, ran wholly amuck with help from her bohemian friends. Pronouncedly narcissistic (she was a teen-ager after all), stoned continuously on cocaine and brandy, paid well to titillate audiences with nude dancing, there was little she would not do. Gordon quotes accounts of the day that she had a beautiful, boyish body and genuine talent as an experimental dancer.
Read more ›
4 Comments 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me preface this by saying I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, it was uneven and poorly written. All the information is there, but it misses the mark. I did not think it would be possible for a book about such an unusual woman to be boring and tedious, but I'm afraid this was.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Double spaced pseudo-biography of a woman the author claims (in the title, no less) to have been a 'priestess of depravity'. What exactly qualifies her for that title remains something of a mystery as the book is about as deep and detailed as a long Wikipedia article. Two chapters of its 199 pages eschew Ms. Berber entirely, 23 of the final pages a collection of poetry. There is no index. What's left is a portrait, poorly defined, of a semi-anonymous woman viewed in an equally obscure and ill-defined environment. Overall a vague, lazy, listless disappointment.
3 Comments 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book kinda jumps around and it doesn't focus on any real timeline . Ms. Berber's story is interesting and it covers a time period in Germany that is often ignored . After WW1 and before Hitler takes power . It was like the wild west in terms of freedom of expression in Germany at that time . The book really left me wondering how her career would have turned out if she would have gotten off the drugs and focused on her career . I would guess she would have left Germany once Hitler come into power and I wonder if she had come to America how her career would have went . She obviously had talent but as we've seen so many time , drugs and alcohol simply ended what ever chance of her having a long career . So we will never know what could have been .

Decent book that I would recommend if the price stays low . There are much better books that cover the Weimar Republic and the entertainment industry during that time period . So I would only recommend this one if you are just interested in Ms Berbers story .
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the life of the notorious Weimar Berlin dancer Anita Berber is full of enough drama, passion, eroticism, depravity and conflict to fill a dozen books, Mr. Gordon's treatment is oddly flat, even sterile. The facts are all there, but none of the emotion. Sadly, this book did not engage this reader.
2 Comments 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By TROY A SNELL on August 13, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like a few other reviewers I felt like the author padded the book out a little by going a little too far in depth on things other than the subject. What happened to her exes after they split, other dancers, etc. I get it, it would be a pretty short book otherwise but I would have liked more in depth analysis on Anita. lots of great images though.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As there are few similar works that speak to this era and the people, it is an interesting book. While the book contains many wonderful period photos, the writing is uneven and meandering. Whole chapters go by without mentioning Anita at all. I think this was a missed opportunity to capture the person and period of the time. I wasn't left liking Anita very much, though that isn't the author's fault really, it is what it is. I might recommend this book solely for its value as being one of few that speak to this time. One just wishes there were better efforts out there than this. A narrative biography of Anita's life would have been more welcomed than what this book put forth.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why would anyone want to read Mel Gordon's THE SEVEN ADDICTIONS AND FIVE PROFESSIONS OF ANITA BERBER? Why indeed! George Santayana, the American philosopher whose most significant contribution to his discipline, Aesthetics, might well have been The Sense of Beauty, once famously wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

This copiously illustrated, non-fiction treatise is as much about the Weimar Republik, pre-war Berlin, hyper-inflationary Germany, and the lengths--or depths--to which the human spirit and body can go--or descend--as it is about the dancer, Anita Berber. I stumbled upon it almost by accident. I'm glad I did. You may well stumble upon this review by accident. If so, call it `serendipity'--and consider reading this book (or any other you can find about Anita Berber) if for no other reason than to get a sense of the time and times. Those we live in now are a distant cousin--related, to be sure, but not yet living under the same roof. We might well want to find a way to ensure that that cousin never comes to visit, much less stay.

Allow me to quote the entire last paragraph on p. 164, just opposite the magnificent full-length portrait of Anita Berber by the German Expressionist, Otto Dix.

"Hans Feld, in the Film-Kurier (November 13, 1928), wrote that although Anita was condemned as `an incarnation of the perverse,' she represented an entire generation. Anita had led the fight between bourgeois parents and their freethinking offspring, protested against the rigidity of authoritarian teachers, embodied the thoughts and desires of an unfettered, liberated world. The details of her life and career could be forgotten, but her overall influence could not be so easily put to rest.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity