By one of the most distinguished Austrian writers of our century, a portrait of three generations set against the panoramic background of the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire. Translated by a three-time winner of the PEN Translation Prize.
Joseph Roth was an Austrian novelist, essayist, journalist, and publisher who was born in 1894 and died in 1939. An outspoken critic of Hitler and militarism, he moved to Paris in 1933. Roth’s novels, though basically conservative, reflect political awareness… More about Joseph Roth
“One of the most readable, poignant, and superb novels in twentieth-century German: it stands with the best of Thomas Mann, Alfred Döblin, and Robert Musil. Roth was a cultural monument of Galician Jewry: ironic, compassionate, perfectly pitched to his catastrophic era.” —HAROLD BLOOM
“A masterpiece . . . The totality of Joseph Roth’s work is no less than a tragédie humaine Achieved in the techniques of modern fiction.” —NADINE GORDIMER
“Epic . . . brilliantly achieved . . . the portrait of an empty age, an age of gold braid and glitter.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
“It is hard to praise this novel sufficiently . . . [It] is exceptional for . . . the tolerance and pity and humorous magnanimity with which the author regards his characters.” —CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
With a new introduction by Alan Bance
On 2 July 1859, the correspondent of The Times reported back to London on the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Solferino in northern Italy, at the hands of the French under Napoleon III. In his account, the Times man makes a particular point of deploring the presence on the battlefield of the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, whose anachronistic gallantry in leading his men from the front endangered rather than advanced the Austrian cause, for ‘every one thought himself bound to take care of the EMPEROR’s safety, and Solferino… would probably have been better defended if he had been away.’