The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War

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9780747591856: The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War
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The Wittgenstein family was one of the richest, most talented and most eccentric in European history. Karl Wittgenstein, who ran away from home as a wayward and rebellious youth, returned to his native Vienna to make a fortune in the iron and steel industries. He bought factories and paintings and palaces, but the domineering and overbearing influence he exerted over his eight children resulted in a generation of siblings fraught by inner antagonisms and nervous tension. Three of his sons committed suicide; Paul, the fourth, became a world-famous concert pianist (using only his left hand), while Ludwig, the youngest, is now regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.In this dramatic historical and psychological epic, Alexander Waugh traces the triumphs and vicissitudes of a family held together by a fanatical love of music yet torn apart by money, madness, conflicts of loyalty and the cataclysmic upheaval of two world wars. Through the bleak despair of a Siberian prison camp to the terror of a Gestapo interrogation room, one courageous and unlikely hero emerges from the rubble of the house of Wittgenstein in the figure of Paul, an extraordinary testament to the indomitable spirit of human survival.

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Review:

'A work of real discovery and rollicking narrative. This is a memorable biography, not to be missed' -- Evening Standard

'His writing is brisk, confident and colourful, but without striving for effect, and the book is a pleasure to read' -- Daily Telegraph

`This book has a wonderful subject and Alexander Waugh, with originality and panache, soon engages us with it at numerous levels ...' -- Daily Telegraph

`This is a magnificently refreshing and invigorating volume which deserves a wide readership'
-- Independent

`Waugh's history is assiduously researched and pacily written, at times to the point of being slangy ...' -- Sunday Times

`eminently readable, meticulously researched' -- Terry Eagleton, Guardian

Book Description:

'His writing is brisk, confident and colourful, but without striving for effect, and the book is a pleasure to read'

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Waugh, Alexander
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