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  • Brand: Crown
  • UPC: 9780451495785
  • Item #: 2094724X
  • Available Date: 9/4/2018
  • Model Number: 9780451495785
List Price: $28.00
Price: $22.10
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A sweeping narrative that refracts the history of 20th century Mitteleuropa through the lens of one of the last palaces built in Europe’s Gilded Age, written in high style by its one-time resident, the former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

When Norman Eisen moved into the ambassador’s residence in Prague, he was shocked to discover swastikas carved into some pieces of furniture, remnants of the grand house’s history as home of the city’s most powerful Nazi general. From there Eisen unspools the captivating tale of four of the most important inhabitants: the Jewish financial baron Otto Petschek, who built the house after World War I as a statement of his faith in Europe; Rudolph Touissant, the cultured and complex German general who occupied it during World War II, ultimately saving it and Prague itself from destruction; Lawrence Steinhardt, the post-war US ambassador who became obsessed with the property, but, in the process, neglected to fight the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia; and Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, an eyewitness in 1968 to the crushing of the Prague Spring by Soviet tanks, and later a crucial architect of Havel’s Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Eisen weaves in the story of his Czech mother surviving Auschwitz, and collectively these lives tell the dramatic and strangely cyclical tale of 100 years of European history.

Story Locale: Prague, Czech Republic

About the Author:

Norman L. Eisen is board chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. He is an attorney who previously served as White House Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform and later United States Ambassador to the Czech Republic. He is also a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. The Last Palace is his first book.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Crown
  • History / Europe / Eastern