Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Eric T Hansen

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Name  Eric Hansen
Role  Writer

Eric T. Hansen wwwfischerverlagedemediafs108thumbnailsHans

Eric T. Hansen (born July 3, 1960) is a bilingual American writer known in Germany for his humorous and critical books.



Eric T. Hansen was born in Bellingham, Washington, and moved with his family to Hawaii when he was six. He was raised a Mormon and served a two-year mission to West Germany from 1980, where he also met his future wife. He then returned to Germany to study at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he earned a Masters in the literature of the German Middle Ages in 1989.

After leaving university, Hansen began a career as a freelance journalist writing about German politics, media and culture for American and British publications including The European, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter (where he was German Bureau Chief), The Washington Post.

In 2001/2002 he took a one-year trip through Germany in a VW Bus in search of the Middle Ages and turned his experiences into the travel book Die Nibelungenreise (The Nibelung Trip), which was published only in German. His second book, Planet Germany, about Germany through the eyes of an American and written in German, was a bestseller. Since then, he has continued writing books in German as well as articles for German publications including Cicero, Süddeutsche Zeitung, GEO and, currently, a political column for the online edition of the leading weekly German newspaper, Die Zeit.</ref> Starting with Planet Germany, Hansen has written all his books entirely in German with his co-writer and companion Astrid Ule, who had translated Nibelungenreise from English. Hansen also occasionally appears in German television and has written and spoken a satirical weekly radio column about Berlin for the local station RadioEins.

Hansen is divorced and is no longer a member of the LDS Church; he currently lives with Astrid Ule in Berlin.

"The Hansen method"

Hansen’s books tend to combine journalistic research with political analysis and humor or even sarcasm and gravitate toward themes that question popular German attitudes. For example, while many Germans tend to think of themselves as "americanized" and as "critical thinkers", Hansen goes out of his way to prove that "americanization" is a myth and that "critical thinking" is often no more than a sophisticated way of complaining. While many Germans tend to perceive American conservatives in a negative light, Hansen in various articles during the 2012 US-presidential election explained the rationale behind the sometimes extreme positions of both parties and criticized the often one-sided perspective in the German press. The critic Henryk M. Broder in the newsweekly Der Spiegel has noted Hansen's fervor for attacking sacred cows and identified "the Hansen method" as forcing readers to view themselves from an unfamiliar and uncomfortable perspective.


  • 2004 Die Nibelungenreise – Mit dem VW-Bus durchs Mittelalter (The Nibelungen Trip – Through the Middle Ages in a VW Bus)
  • 2006 Planet Germany – Eine Expedition in die Heimat des Hawaii Toast (Planet Germany – An Expedition into the Homeland of Hawaii Toast)
  • 2007 Deutschland-Quiz – Alles, was Sie über dieses Land wissen sollten und nie zu fragen wagten (Germany Quiz – Everything You Always Wanted to Know About this Country but Were Afraid to Ask)
  • 2010 Nörgeln! Des Deutschen größte Lust (Nagging! The Greatest German Passion)
  • 2011 Forbetter your English – Englisch für Deutsche (Forbetter Your English – English for Germans)
  • 2012 Planet America – Ein Ami erklärt sein Land (Planet America – A Yankee Explains his Country)
  • 2013 Die ängstliche Supermacht – Warum Deutschland endlich erwachsen werden muss (The Frightened Superpower – Why Germany Has to Grow Up)
  • Novel

    2009 Nibelungenfieber (Nibelung Fever) (by Eric T. Hansen and Astrid Ule)


    Eric T. Hansen Wikipedia