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The World of Yesterday

by Stefan Zweig

Dust jacket of %i1%I Flew With the Lafayette Escadrille%i0% by Edwin Parsons.

Dust jacket of I Flew With the Lafayette Escadrille by Edwin Parsons.

Stefan Zweig was an Austro-Hungarian who saw himself, and worked to foster, a European mind and artistic environment. He read widely and sought out artists he admired.

Among the artists and writers he meets and discusses are Theodor Herzl (who is an early publisher), Rodin, Yeats, James Joyce, and Strauss.

He crosses from Austria-Hungary to Switzerland in 1917 or 18, leaving hunger and censorship behind to find real coffee, fruits, vegetables, and a place where one can speak freely. (He makes a strong case for Switzerland and its neutrality.) He sees Karl I, the last Austro-Hungarian emperor at the border as he leaves the disintegrating empire for the last time. He see the well-heeled, well-trained organization of fascists in Venice, then in Germany, Austria, and later Spain, each time wondering who funded the uniforms and training of these young men.

He twice sees what he thinks is the great European project, and twice sees it fail horribly, disastrously. It is timely reading.

Publisher: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1947