Reading Friedrich's multi-faceted history of Weimar Berlin would be superb preparation for anyone planning to visit modern-day Berlin. Most of the political, historical, and cultural events described in this book took place in and around what Berliners now call Mitte. During the Cold War and a divided Germany, this part of the city was pretty much off limits to Westerners, so the guidebooks don't really do it justice. Read "Before the Deluge" if you want to learn about the dramatic political, social, and economic upheavals that occured in Berlin between the two World Wars.
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