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
9781786076670 (10 Oct 2019)
RRP £20.00

The Book

In a hundred-year period, a handful of men and women changed the way we see the world. Many of them are well known - Marx, Freud, Proust, Einstein, Kafka. Others have vanished from 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.

What do these visionaries have in common? They all have Jewish origins. They all have a gift for thinking outside the box and all of them think fast. 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 world's bestselling author on classical music. His most recent book was the critically acclaimed Why Mahler? His Whitbread Award-winning novel, The Song of Names, is currently being developed into a feature film. Aside from the history of Western music, he has a lifelong passion for the culture and chronicles of the Jewish people. He lives in London.


‘A dazzling masterpiece depicting the glory and tragedy of Europe's most persecuted people. Emotionally drained, but also exhilarated by Lebrecht's gripping narrative about the Jews' contribution to Europe's intellectual triumphs, I despaired by the end that anti-Semitism is once again shamelessly paraded by monstrous politicians - and will end in the same raw violence suffered by so many of this book's heroes.'

- Tom Bower