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The Glass Wall

Lives on the Baltic Frontier

Max Egremont

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04 August 2022
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This journey to the edge of Europe mixes history, travelogue and oral testimony to spellbinding and revelatory effect.

Few countries have suffered more from the convulsions and bloodshed of twentieth-century Europe than those in the eastern Baltic. Small nations such as the Baltic States of Latvia and Estonia found themselves caught between the giants of Germany and Russia, on a route across which armies surged or retreated. Subjected to foreign domination and conquest since the Northern crusades in the twelfth century, these lands faced frequent devastation as Germans, Russians and Swedish colonisers asserted control of the territory, religion, government, culture and inhabitants.

The Glass Wall features an extraordinary cast of characters - contemporary and historical, foreign and indigenous - who have lived and fought in the Baltic and made the atmosphere of what was often thought to be western Europe's furthest redoubt. Too often it has seemed to be the destiny of this region to be the front line of other people's wars. By telling the stories of warriors and victims, of philosophers and Baltic Barons, of poets and artists, of rebels and emperors, and others who lived through years of turmoil and violence, Max Egremont reveals a fascinating part of Europe, on a frontier whose limits may still be in doubt.

'Fascinating . . . a rich, nuanced account of life on the Baltic frontier ' - The Times 'Excellent' - Daily Mail 'Extraordinary' - Literary Review 'Exemplary' - Economist
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   230g
ISBN:   9781509845446
ISBN 10:   1509845445
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Max Egremont studied history at Oxford University. As well as four novels, he has written biographies of Arthur Balfour, Major-General Sir Edward Spears and Siegfried Sassoon, and Some Desperate Glory: the First World War the Poets Knew. His Forgotten Land: Journeys among the Ghosts of East Prussia (2011) has been described as 'a work of consummate artistry' (the Spectator), 'a story for our time' (the New Statesman), 'remarkable, fascinating reading' (the Sunday Times), 'beautifully written' (the Wall Street Journal), and 'the very best form of travel writing' (the Mail on Sunday).

Reviews for The Glass Wall: Lives on the Baltic Frontier

Fascinating . . . a rich, nuanced account of life on the Baltic frontier * The Times * Excellent . . . Boasting a fascinating cast of characters, it is a book which reveals a part of Europe with a complex history and an intriguing present -- Nick Rennison * Daily Mail * Extraordinary . . . a brilliant exploration of how the past infuses the landscape, buildings, art, literature, traditions, food, conversations and lived experience of the Baltic people * Literary Review * Confidently written, featuring reportage interwoven with his own and other writers' literary and genealogical insights . . . The author also writes sympathetically about the trauma of the second world war . . . Exemplary, bringing together a grand historical narrative, local details, accounts of lives shaped and shattered, and architectural and literary insights * Economist * A restlessly enquiring guide . . . With rare narrative, Egremont offers an elegy for a forgotten land * Financial Times *

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