On Our Shelves Now
“An enthralling and insightful cultural history—one that shows how, over the course of one pivotal decade, love, freedom and the freedom to love gave way to fear, madness and despair.” —Malcolm Forbes, Washington Post Book Review
An ingeniously orchestrated popular history brings to life the most pivotal decade of the twentieth century
As the Roaring Twenties wind down, Jean-Paul Sartre waits in a Paris café for a first date with Simone de Beauvoir, who never shows. Marlene Dietrich slips away from a loveless marriage to cruise the dive bars of Berlin. The fledgling writer Vladimir Nabokov places a freshly netted butterfly at the end of his wife’s bed. Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Zelda and Scott, Dalí and Gala, Picasso and his many muses, Henry and June and Anaïs Nin, the entire extended family of Thomas Mann, and a host of other fascinating and famous figures make art and love, write and row, bed and wed and betray. They do not yet know that they, along with millions of others, will soon be forced to contemplate flight—or fight—as the world careens from one global conflict to the next.
About the Author
Florian Illies is a writer, editor, and art historian and the author of five international bestsellers, including 1913: The Year before the Storm. He lives in Berlin.
Simon Pare is a translator from French and German who lives near Zurich. His translation of The Flying Mountain by Christoph Ransmayr made the Man Booker International Prize longlist in 2018, and he was part of the team that translated The Panama Papers into English.
Praise for Love in a Time of Hate:
“An enthralling and insightful cultural history—one that shows how, over the course of one pivotal decade, love, freedom and the freedom to love gave way to fear, madness and despair. . . . Each piece in the book’s mosaic-like structure glints brilliantly.” —Malcolm Forbes, Washington Post Book Review
“A high-speed panoramic tour of the romantic and creative lives of Europe’s celebrity artists over the prewar decade … [in] a hyper-mobile frieze of lovemaking and art-making against darkening skies. … The narrative picks up weight and urgency as fascism imperils [Illies’s]is luminaries, body and soul.” ―Financial Times
“A kaleidoscopic romp through the decades that preceded World War II. … As the culture of Europe shifts away from experimentation and play toward large-scale social collapse, the author wrestles with how easily — and disconcertingly — hate can take over a population.” ―Vulture
“A kaleidoscopic view of a fevered decade. . . . [that] creates a sense of immediacy and tension. . . . Illies vividly captures his subjects’ disorientation, dizziness, fear, and desperation. . . . A dramatic, richly detailed cultural history.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Florian Illies has pieced together the emotional history of a doomed generation. … Wickedly amusing until the Nazis first reprove the libertines and then set about exterminating them … which gives [this] book a disturbing relevance.” ―The Observer
“Ten years ago, Illies had a great success with 1913, which anatomised the year preceding the First World War. His grander task here enfolds the entire decade before the Second. It tells of how, as became clear to everyone from the blighted Fitzgeralds to any number of wandering Jewish intellectuals, ‘the Thirties are picking up the tab for the Twenties.’. … There’s the thrill of discovery on every page.” ―Telegraph
“It takes a skilful hand to arrange these vignettes into a dramatic image of the world slipping into catastrophe. ... Intimate relationships make for great material, now blending into, now contrasting with, the storm clouds on the horizon. … Illies reads his protagonists’ feelings, love included, like a social barometer. … A crucial perspective on ‘those blazing years before everything goes dark’.” ―The Spectator
“Love in a Time of Hate invites us to consider that history is as much an accretion of small gestures as it is a catalogue of battles and speeches. At once intimate and epic, this dazzling book illuminates the human desire to seek connection and coherence as the world descends into chaos. A brilliant and imaginative tour de force.” ―Rebecca Donner, author of All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
“This is candid, unsparing and gripping social history. A bravura performance.” ―Harald Jähner, author of Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich
“Set against the relentless rise of Nazi terror, this ingenious narrative evokes the 1930s through the loves, foibles, and tragedies of the cultural elite. Strikingly original, utterly absorbing.” ―Julia Boyd, author of Travelers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism 1919-1945
Praise for 1913: The Year before the Storm:
“Utterly delicious … a sexy, comic and occasionally heartbreaking soap opera.”—The Washington Post
“Illies is as astute a researcher as he is an observer of the zeitgeist” ―Guardian
“A vivid, richly textured book that chronicles a world crackling with talent, energy and foreboding.”— Financial Times
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