They called him ‘Papa’, but Theodor Heuss was much more than the rigid, incorruptible paterfamilias of the early Federal Republic. He went down in history as the man who bolstered the nation’s post-war resolve at a crucial time, inspiring it with courage and self-confidence as well as reawakening the people’s zest for life. »Loosening up«, he called it. Very few people held the fact that he’d helped vote Hitler into the Reichstag against him. In his sweeping biography, Joachim Radkau presents this multi-faceted, contradictory personality: aesthete and cynic, politician and economist, with an eclectic range of interests from technology to art and design. Theodor Heuss embodied the modernization of the German nation from the Imperial Era through to the early years of the Federal Republic and paved the ground for post-war society like no other. Radkau’s biography reappraises him as a central figure in German history – and also opens a new perspective on the early years of the Federal Republic.