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The Last Palace: Europe's Extraordinary Century Through Five Lives and One House in Prague
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Norman Eisen
The Last Palace: Europe's Extraordinary Century Through Five Lives and One House in Prague by Norman Eisen at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Last Palace: Europe's Extraordinary Century Through Five Lives and One House in Prague

Norman Eisen


9781472237309

Headline


History;
European history;
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000;
Advocate - History


Paperback

416 pages

$22.99
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When Norman Eisen moved into the US ambassador's residence in Prague, returning to the land his mother had fled after the Holocaust, he was startled to discover swastikas hidden beneath the furniture.

From that discovery unspooled the captivating, twisting tale of the remarkable people who lived in the house before Eisen. Their story is Europe's, telling the dramatic and surprisingly cyclical tale of the endurance of liberal democracy: the optimistic Jewish financial baron who built the palace; the conflicted Nazi general who put his life at risk for the house during World War II; the first postwar US ambassador struggling to save both the palace and Prague from communist hands; the child star- turned-diplomat who fought to end totalitarianism; and Eisen's own mother, whose life demonstrates how those without power and privilege moved through history.

THE LAST PALACE chronicles the upheavals that have transformed the continent over the past century and reveals how we never live far from the past.

By:   Norman Eisen
Imprint:   Headline
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   300g
ISBN:   9781472237309
ISBN 10:   1472237307
Pages:   416
Publication Date:   September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

NORMAN EISEN is a senior fellow at Brookings and a CNN commentator and chairs the U.S. watchdog group CREW. He served as US ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014, and as President Obama's ethics czar from 2009 to 2011. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and many other publications.


Combining both the personal and the historical, Norman Eisen's remarkable book transports us into the battle for democracy through the lives of people who fought to save it and those who would seek to destroy it. The Last Palace is not only a first-rate work of history, but a call to action written at a time of urgent need. Norman Eisen has written an enthralling history of a palace and its very real ghosts. By telling the story of the Prague mansion where he resided as America's ambassador, Eisen provides a poignant reflection on the haunting twists of the past century, including his own very American family tale. Eisen has written a pearl of a book. Using an ornate palace in Prague as the backdrop for his fast-paced narrative, Eisen tells the tale of the last stormy century through the eyes of several vibrant characters who helped shape it ... The Last Palace is a great read and a stirring reminder of the importance of decency in public life. Moving, engaging, and elegantly written, The Last Palace wears its erudition lightly, casts its radiant intelligence fearlessly into the darkest corners of the twentieth century and, effortlessly, reliably, breaks your heart again and again. As America's Ambassador in Prague, Norman Eisen had an extraordinary relationship with the Czech Republic and its history: his mother said the Nazis took her family out in boxcars and her son came back on Air Force One. The Last Palace combines human drama with geopolitical and historical sweep and does it with evident love and painstaking investigation. Norman Eisen pulls back the curtains to reveal history's secrets in this rich, personal, and wise book. What a revelation! With this moving memoir and history, Norman Eisen enters the front rank of writers. A truly riveting read. Enchanting and fascinating, The Last Palace is a splendid journey through a century of modern European history, and a love letter to liberal democracy. From the adventures of an obsessive baron to the anti-Communist resistance of ambassador-actress Shirley Temple Black to his own tenure as Barack Obama's envoy to Prague, Norman Eisen brings the inhabitants of a storied residence, and their tumultuous times, to life.

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