Bankers, philanthropists, scholars, socialites, artists, and politicians, the Warburgs stood at the pinnacle of German (and, later, of German-American) Jewry. They forged economic dynasties, built mansions and estates, assembled libraries, endowed charities, and advised a German kaiser and two American presidents. But their very success made the Warburgs lightning rods for anti-Semitism, and their sense of patriotism became increasingly dangerous in a Germany that had declared Jews the enemy.
Ron Chernow's hugely fascinating history is a group portrait of a clan whose members were renowned for their brilliance, culture, and personal energy yet tragically vulnerable to the dark and irrational currents of the twentieth century.
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|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 2.00(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:March 3, 1949
Place of Birth:Brooklyn, NY
Education:Yale University; Cambridge University
Read an Excerpt
Jews settled as far north as the Rhineland after the Romans destroyed the Temple in A.D. 70. Far from feeling alien, these winegrowers and craftsmen felt rooted in Germanic soil. But their pastoral idyll was shattered by the religious zealotry of the eleventh century. Butchered by the Crusaders, they were expelled from their farms and forced into moneylending. During the Black Death, roving flagellants cursed the Jews for supposedly causing the bubonic plague by poisoning wells. They were also periodically accused of draining blood from Christian children to bake unleavened Passover bread-the so-called blood libel. Like dark, disturbing figures from a grim fairy tale, the Jews would secretly linger on in the German psyche as ghouls tricked out in civilian clothes. This legacy would lie dormant, but never dead, in the culture.
Excerpted from "The Warburgs"
Copyright © 2016 Ron Chernow.
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