It is with great pleasure that I welcome to you the website of The Berlin Review of Books.
The goal of the BRB is to publish essays and reviews of the highest quality, in an effort to promote intellectual curiosity and intelligent debate. In pursuing this goal, we are open to global perspectives from around the world. This is why the BRB will devote a substantial amount of space to reviews of recent, non-English language books, in the hope of drawing attention to the significant contributions to scholarship and debate emerging from a broad range of linguistic and intellectual traditions.
The launch of the Berlin Review of Books today — on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall — should also be understood as a commitment to overcoming walls of an intellectual sort: between cultural traditions, between languages, between academic disciplines.
I am especially grateful to the members of the (growing) Editorial Advisory Board for their support. It is a testament to the significance of globalisation that, while the majority of those involved in the BRB — myself included — have deep personal connections to the city, much of the day-to-day editorial work and communication takes place electronically and across continents. Then again, what attracts people to Berlin has always been more of an idea than a location. As Theodor Fontane once put it (no doubt tongue-in-cheek): “Before God everyone is basically a Berliner.”
With best wishes,
Axel Gelfert, Editor
The Berlin Review of Books