Most people do not think of Berlin as a beautiful city, but it is filled with stunning sights, sounds and textures, all the more astonishing when the stories behind them are revealed. Today's Berlin is new and vibrant, but history has left its scars. A look in the right place is rewarded with glimpses of the glories of old Prussia as well as the abominations of Hitler's Third Reich and of the outer bulwark of the Soviet empire. Brian Ladd, a historian who has been returning to Berlin for twenty-five years, pays homage to the familiar landmarks, but he also penetrates into obscure corners of the city and brings them alive with his shrewd and informed comment. He explains what the sights of Berlin have meant to Berliners who coped under kings and dictators, and who toiled, suffered and celebrated as their city was destroyed and rebuilt. This book invites you to share their passions as it draws you into the dynamic new capital that has risen from wreckage of post-war German history. BRIAN LADD is at the State University of New York at Albany. He has been a constant visitor to Berlin over a quarter of a century.