Books Of Interest: June 18th, 2014

These two books look to be of interest:

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The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig At The End Of The World      George Prochnik

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was an Austrian Jewish writer who had become by the 1920’s and 1930’s , the most translated author in the entire world. Along with his novels, he was most known for his biographies of Mary, Queen of Scots, Marie-Antoinette, and Erasmus of Rotterdam. With Hitler’s rise to power, he and his second wife, Lotte, moved to London in 1934 and becoming restless moved to New York City. Being an idealist, he became disenchanted in New York due to the never-ending influx of immigrants and his being well off attempting to help them financially. He grew tired of his savior status and he and his wife eventually moved to Petropolis, Braziil in 1940 in order to continue his work. However, due to his depression and his idealism, especially with the situation in Europe at the time, he and his wife committed suicide in 1942 through the use of barbiturates.

This looks to be an excellent biography of Zweig’s later years and the tragedy of Hitler’s rise to power and how a man’s dedication to his idealism and his dreams of the world as he saw it came crashing down. I am putting this in my pile.

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War And Gold: A 500-Year History Of Empires, Adventures, and Debt     Kwasi Kwarteng

The author takes a look into the relationship, since the time the Spanish monarchy of the Hapsburgs, and how gold played such a part in the financing of war and how it eventually came crashing down on the Hapsburg dynasty and bankrupting the Spanish government many times over. This book covers the history of gold and how it was used during World War I and right up until modern times with the emergence of China. I am currently reading Capital In The Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty, and this book seems to give a different viewpoint in which gold played with the different countries and their economies during this time period.

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