Skip to main content

The Ghosts of Berlin

Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape

With a New Afterword
In the twenty years since its original publication, The Ghosts of Berlin has become a classic, an unparalleled guide to understanding the presence of history in our built environment, especially in a space as historically contested—and emotionally fraught—as Berlin. Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Returning to the city frequently, Ladd continues to survey the urban landscape, traversing its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past.

304 pages | 4 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1997, 2018

Architecture: History of Architecture

Political Science: Comparative Politics, Urban Politics


"A superb guide to this process of urban self-definition, both past and present.”

Wall Street Journal

“With erudition, insight, and restraint, Brian Ladd carries off the dangerous task of analyzing architecture and urbanism in Berlin in terms of its horrific political past. He convincingly argues that architecture embodies ideological meaning more powerfully than other artifacts of a society.”

New York Times Book Review

“[Ladd’s] well-written and well-illustrated book amounts to a brief history of the city as well as a guide to its landscape.”

Anthony Grafton | New York Review of Books

“Ladd examines the conflicts radiating from [Berlin’s] remarkable fusion of architecture, history and national identity.”

History Today

“Ladd’s balanced, sensitive chronicle of the Berlin’s traumatized topography brings the past into focus.”

Harvard Design Magazine

“Ladd’s book is absorbing. More than a portrait of a fraught city, it is a reminder that not just ‘good design’ is at stake in the built world and its traces."

Architects' Journal

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press