As part of a special symposium on the past and present of Christian democracy held on September 24, 2021, just ahead of this year’s German elections, the Review of Democracy has interviewed Kati Marton about her forthcoming book The Chancellor. The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel (Simon & Schuster, 2021). This new book, which will appear in fifteen languages in the near future, draws on years of research and direct access to key individuals to paint a human portrait of the first female chancellor of the Federal Republic. The conversation conducted by Ferenc Laczó focuses on Kati Marton’s motivation to paint a human portrait of Angela Merkel who has been known to be rather fiercely protective about her privacy; on Merkel’s personality traits and how they have impacted the style and substance of her political leadership; the tensions between Merkel’s commitment to liberal and democratic values and the demands of Realpolitik that have defined her sixteen years in office; die Kanzlerin’s signature achievements, notable failures and her legacy; and how her time in charge of Germany has transformed our image of a competent and effective political leader, not least in gender terms.
The Chancellor. A conversation with Kati Marton about Angela Merkel