Book Recommendations

5 results

Eichmann's Jews

Author
Doron Rabinovici

Polity Press brought out a translation of Doron Rabinovici's excellent Eichmann's Jews, a study of the leadership of the Vienna Jewish community and how they were trapped into cooperating with Adolf Eichmann. A chilling, sober study and highly recommended. 

Last Waltz in Vienna

Author
George Clare

George Clare, who died in 2009, wrote a memoir, Last Waltz in Vienna, a poignant family history. The book has been in and out of print for years, and you can find it on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk. The Independent in London published this obituary on Clare.

Old Masters

Author
Thomas Bernhard

This short novel is one long monologue, in which one elderly friend meets another friend each week in front of a Tintoretto in the Kunsthistorishes Museum in Vienna. His friend rails at what perfectly horrible people the Austrians are. Written by an author who makes all other misanthropes seem like St Thomas Aquinas, this is the funniest and most brilliant book one can find on postwar Austria.

The Hare with Amber Eyes

Author
Edmund de Waal

We expect everyone to read The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal. When the author, a sculptor in London, inherits 264 small Japanese figures, he decides to take a journey through his family’s rise—and dramatic fall, which begins in Odessa, travels to Paris, and ends in Vienna. Watch an interview with the author.

The Lady in Gold

Author
Anne-Marie O'Connor

We also recommend Anne-Marie O'Connor's The Lady in Gold, which tells the story of Gustav Klimt's painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Adele died in 1934 and in her will, she asked her husband to donate the portrait to an Austrian museum. Yet in 1938, her husband fled Vienna for his life and died in greatly reduced circumstances in Switzerland. He was the painting's owner and wanted to give it to his niece, Marie Altman. The Austrians would not budge. Into the picture walked a young, relatively untested lawyer, Randol Schoenberg. O'Connor, an investigative reporter for The Los Angeles Times, digs deep into turn-of-the-century Vienna, the Second World War, and Schoenberg's battle to get the painting back. The book was filmed in Vienna, with Helen Mirren playing Marie Altman.