"German Stars: 50 Innovations Everyone Should Know About" is being shipped to schools and universities this week as part of a self-esteem building plan by the government and industry.
"We're honestly not trying to claim the Germans invented everything", said Lars Heitmuller of Fischer Appelt, the Berlin-based PR agency that produced the book. "We thought it was a good idea to remind the Germans of that and let them know it's OK to feel good about it."
However, Der Spiegel magazine this week denounced the book as "outrageous nonsense," based on the claim Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.
"It is well documented that the Chinese invented this 300 years earlier," the magazine said.