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Vienna
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
grand hotel
Vicki Baum’s classic international bestseller Grand Hotel: a lucid, affectionate depiction of a society in crisis The Vienna-born novelist Vicki Baum made history with her novel Grand Hotel, published under the title Menschen im Hotel in 1929. Her work ethic, her curiosity and her openness towards things new and modern were contributing factors in her rise to literary stardom during...
the revenge of analog
The desire for real things in real time lies deep in the human psyche argues David Sax in The Revenge of Analog.Evenings, after supper, my father loved to listen to music. Gently removing a record from the sleeve, he would place it on the turntable and, equally as tenderly, place the needle carefully in the groove.  I would wait,...
The Vanquished
In The Vanquished, Robert Gerwarth attempts a more nuanced look at WW1 and why the carnage didn’t end in 1918.On September 11, 1919, Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of the most brilliant Italian poets of his day and a decorated war hero, drove to Fiume in a bright red Fiat. Leading an army of 2,000 irregulars, formed ad hoc, he set...
sigmund freud
Award-winning Viennese writer Robert Seethaler's bestselling novel, The Tobacconist, tackles coming of age on the eve of war and shows a sentimental side of Freud.Robert Seethaler didn’t plan to become a novelist. An established character actor on stage and screen (most recently opposite Rachel Weisz in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth), he began writing novels while studying for a degree in...
rigor mortis
Richard Harris’ book Rigor Mortis inspires scientific soul-searching.Let’s start out addressing the elephant in the room: There are a lot of scientific studies that are just not reproducible, period. It’s not about one lab, or one theory, or one field.Everyone in science is affected by what has been called the “reproducibility crisis.” Drug development is slowing down. Major initiatives...
Idyll with Drowning Dog and Madalyn
Austrian Michael Köhlmeier’s reinvention of the novel with Idyll with Drowning Dog and MadalynMichael Köhlmeier is a man of his times. One of the most respected writers of his generation in Austria, Köhlmeier is a novelist who has also played important public roles – as moderator of the leading news round table “Club 2” on ORF national television, and...
Europe Since 1989
How neoliberalism changed Central Europe in Europe Since 1989After the fall of Communism, “privatization” was the word of the day, and it seemed all of Central Europe was up for sale. In telecommunications, Deutsche Telekom invested in Hungary and Siemens in Poland; in automotive, Volkswagen took over the Czech firm Škoda, building, retooling plants near Prague and Bratislava.Five years...
Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany
In Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, Norman Ohler shows how methamphetamines made the German Blitzkrieg possibleAs German Panzers overran France in the summer of 1940, their drive and endurance astonished Winston Churchill, who wrote in his memoirs, “I was dumbfounded. This was one of the greatest surprises of my life.” Many wondered if this was indeed a super race. ...
Stefan Zweig
The story of Stefan Zweig’s exile years is compellingly told in George Prochnik’s literary biographyIn spite of his fame, Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig was never comfortable with his public role. At a New York press conference in 1935, he repeatedly evaded questions about political developments under the Nazis, refusing to “speak badly about Germany,” although his own work had...
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