Volker Weidermann

Dreamers. When the Poets Took Power

Träumer - Als die Dichter die Macht übernahmen

Dreamers. When the Poets Took Power

Complete English translation available (published with Pushkin Press 1st Nov. 2018)
SPIEGEL-bestseller (12 weeks / highest ranking: #15)
Recommended as a `Book of the Year 2018´ in the Spectator (GB)

When has that ever happened – a revolution that brought poets to power? Yet they exist, these short moments in history when everything seems possible… Volker Weidermann writes about one such incident – the Munich Soviet Republic, between November 1918 and April 1919 – in the style of a gripping reportage that makes the reader a witness to those turbulent, comical and tragic weeks that shook Munich, Bavaria and Germany.

That magical moment when everything seems possible begins after the end of the First World War and the deposition of the Bavarian king: radical pacifism, direct democracy, social justice, the reign of the imagination. Leading this movement to establish a socialist state are the writers Ernst Toller, Gustav Landauer and Erich Mühsam – for whom, after the days of euphoria and quick disillusionment, long prison terms or death await. Moving at a rapid pace and told from the point of view of the participants and local observers, including Thomas Mann, Klaus Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Adolf Hitler, Viktor Klemperer and Oskar Maria Graf, this historical thriller recounts an exceptional incident in German history.

Just as he did in his acclaimed international bestseller Ostende, Volker Weidermann once again transforms a historical moment into a gripping and moving tale

narrative non-fiction


ISBN: 978-3-462-04714-1
release: 09. November 2017
288 pages, gebunden mit SU


22,00 €
0,00 sFr
22,70 €

Rights sold to

sample translation

About the Author

Volker Weidermann, born in Darmstadt in 1969, studied political science and German language and literature in Heidelberg and Berlin. He works as literary editor in the culture department of Spiegel and lives in Berlin. His book Ostende. 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft (“Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the Summer Before the Dark”) published in 2014, about the friendship between Joseph Roth and Stefan Zweig in exile, was on the Spiegel bestseller list for months and sold rights to numerous countries.

Further titles by the author:
Das Buch der verbrannten Bücher
Max Frisch
Dichter treffen