The WACHH Book Club discussed The Chancellor – The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel by Kati Marton. There was lively debate and here are their key takeaways from the book:
- It was refreshing to read about a leader who is clearly value-driven, authentic, humble, accountable, scandal-free, effective user of soft-power, extremely smart, and concerned about the well-being of people, climate, and democracy. She takes a moral approach to solving problems.
- Merkel is a great contrast to “ignorance and bluster” that has become so pervasive in politics.
- She was the perfect leader for the period she was Chancellor of Germany – she earned the trust of her people and the respect of even the most difficult world leaders.
Three questions were raised at the end of the discussion:
- How as a scientist did, she come to the decision to move her country away from nuclear energy, and hasn’t that decision made Germany’s current energy situation much worse? This is a question participants would love to ask Merkel and wish the author had covered in more depth.
- If Merkel was still Chancellor of Germany, would Putin have again invaded Ukraine? Views of the group were mixed – some said “yes" and some said “no."
- If Merkel was in the United States, could she, or a leader like her, ever be elected President? The consensus was “probably not” because American politics has a bias against such high intellect and steadiness.
Would they recommend this book to others- Absolutely!