The Hyphenated Family An American Saga Author:Hagedorn, Hermann This is the story of the Hagedorns -- a German-American family who tried to live in two countries at once. It is a vivid story, written with compassion, humor, and an extraordinary eye for detail. It is a true story, told as honestly as Mr. Hagedorn can tell it -- with nothing added, with nothing set down in malice. — In describing his paternal... more » grandmother, Charlotte Hagedorn, the author presents a picture of a dominating German woman whose iron will extended across an ocean to her son's home in the United States. In deference to her wishes, her son allows his family to be torn perpetually between allegiance to the fatherland and the unfolding vision of America. Mr. Hagedorn recalls the continuous struggles of the family, their life in Brooklyn, summers in the charming university town of Goettingen in Germany, his own education at The Hill School and at Harvard, his brothers' surroundings in the home of his grandmother.« less
Hagedorn provides a fascinating glimpse life as the son of wealthy German immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Though his childhood was happy and privileged, tensions between the old life and the new were ever present, and eventually tore the family in two with the onset of World War I. I particularly recommend this book to readers who, like me, have Germans in their family tree; I found it had a lot to teach me about my ancestry.