The son of prominent German diplomat Otto Meissner, Hans-Otto Meissner studied law at Heidelberg and Trinity College, Cambridge, after which he embarked on a diplomatic career. His postings took him to London, Tokyo, Moscow, and Milan, among other cities. After ending his diplomatic career, Meissner published a series of books, which proved financially successful.
His works may be divided into three categories:
1. Political-historical books, e.g., The Seizure of Power on 30 January 1933
2. Travelogues, describing journeys Meissner himself took, e.g., Enchanting Wilderness: Hiking, Hunting, Flying in Alaska
3. Books concerning the lives of discoverers and explorers, e.g., The Congo Surrenders Its Secret
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