Genius and Anxiety

Pages: 448
Subject: History, Biography
Imprint: Oneworld
Illustrations: 16 greyscale chapter frontispieces

Genius and Anxiety

How Jews Changed the World, 1847–1947

Norman Lebrecht

A unique chronicle of the hundred-year period when the Jewish people changed the world - and it changed them
Hardback
9781786076670 (10 Oct 2019)
RRP £20.00

The Book

Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Bernhardt and Kafka. Between the middle of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a few dozen men and women changed the way we see the world. But many have vanished from our collective memory despite their enduring importance in our daily lives. Without Karl Landsteiner, for instance, there would be no blood transfusions or major surgery. Without Paul Ehrlich no chemotherapy. Without Siegfried Marcus no motor car. Without Rosalind Franklin genetic science would look very different. Without Fritz Haber there would not be enough food to sustain life on earth.

These visionaries all have something in common - their Jewish origins and a gift for thinking outside the box.

In 1847 the Jewish people made up less than 0.25% of the world's population, and yet they saw what others could not. How?

Additional Information

Subject History, Biography
Pages 448
Imprint Oneworld
Illustrations 16 greyscale chapter frontispieces

About the Author

Norman Lebrecht is the author of twelve works of non-fiction, including the international bestsellers The Maestro Myth, Why Mahler? and The Life and Death of Classical Music, which have been translated into seventeen languages. His first novel, The Song of Names, won a Whitbread Award and is being released this year as a major feature film. He now writes for the Spectator and the Wall Street Journal, and is working on his fourth novel. He lives in London. @NLebrecht    normanlebrecht.com

Reviews

‘Claims to have "changed the world” tend to be exaggerations, but Lebrecht's subtitle…seems understated. The world wasn't changed, it was remade, by the emancipation of Jews into public life that began in the 1840s…Narrated not by a straight-faced professional historian, but by a sprightly raconteur, with anecdotes and jokes, digressions and embellishments. Lebrecht piles them high in a ziggurat of enthusiasm for those "who changed the way we see the world”'.

- The Times

‘A riveting, gossipy, action-packed, seam-bursting blast through 100 years of (mainly) European history…Lebrecht is an exuberant storyteller who ably brings these personalities to life…Impressively wide-ranging in scope and unflaggingly fascinating in detail.'

- Financial Times

'[An] urgent and moving history.'

- The Spectator

‘A dazzling masterpiece depicting the glory and tragedy of Europe's most persecuted people.'

- Tom Bower

‘Lebrecht vividly portrays the tensions between success and discrimination, offering a timely reminder of what western civilisation owes to the Jews.'

- David Abulafia, Emeritus Professor of Mediterranean History, University of Cambridge, and author of The Great Sea