In 1980, Dalkey United went on a football trip to Germany which ended up in East Berlin. A certain economist, festival director and once under 13s centre half was on that schoolboy trip and so began a lifelong fascination with all things East German. Less than ten years after that Dalkey Utd. trip, the country vanished. In her wonderful book, Katja Hoyer argues that amid oppression and frequent hardship, East Germany was home to a rich political, social and cultural landscape, a place far more dynamic than the Cold War caricature often painted in the West. This is one for cold war anoraks, communist nostalgists and the odd few intrepid ones who always know there’s more to the story of any country than first meets the eye. 

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