Franz Kafka: The Poet of Shame and Guilt (Jewish Lives)
A highly original and engaging appraisal of Kafka’s life, work, legacy, and thought Franz Kafka was the poet of his own disorder. Throughout his life he struggled with a pervasive sense of shame and guilt that left traces in his daily existence-in his many letters, in his extensive diaries, and especially in his fiction. This stimulating book investigates some of the sources of Kafka’s personal anguish and its complex reflections in his imaginary world. In his query, Saul Friedlander probes major aspects of Kafka’s life (family, Judaism, love and sex, writing, illness, and despair) that until now have been skewed by posthumous censorship. Contrary to Kafka’s dying request that all his papers be burned, Max Brod, Kafka’s closest friend and literary executor, edited and published the author’s novels and other works soon after his death in 1924. Friedlander shows that, when reinserted in Kafka’s letters and diaries, deleted segments lift the mask of “sainthood” frequently attached to the writer and thus restore previously hidden aspects of his individuality.
About the Author
Saul Friedlander is a renowned historian of the Holocaust and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He is Distinguished Emeritus Professor of History and Club 39 Endowed Chair in Holocaust Studies at UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
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“Lee Kuan Yew has long stood out as one of the century’s wisest and most consequential Asian leaders. This book, collecting accounts from close associates who joined him in building a new nation, makes an important contribution to the understanding of Lee Kuan Yew’s achievement.”
HENRY A. KISSINGER
Former US Secretary of State
Lee Kuan Yew was born in 1923, a time when Singapore was under British rule. After experiencing the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, he travelled to England to study Law. Mr Lee’s legal career in Singapore was marked by increasing political involvement. Together with a group of like-minded individuals, he formed the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954. Following the PAP’s victory in the 1959 Legislative Assembly general elections, Mr Lee became the first Prime Minister of Singapore, at the age of 35. He held this position until 1990. After stepping down from the premiership, he remained in the Cabinet until 2011, serving as Senior Minister and subsequently as Minister Mentor.
Mr Lee oversaw Singapore’s transformation from a Third World country to a First World country. This remarkable achievement has long prompted admiration and debate. This volume makes a distinctive contribution to our understanding of Mr Lee’s legacy because for the first time the men and women who worked closely with him have come together to discuss his ideas. The resulting essays shed valuable light on a wide range of topics including law and politics, society and economics, and governance and foreign affairs.
On the eve of the Great War, they had the world at – and watching – their feet. If God is in the details, they were divine. Vernon and Irene Castle were the world’s first true celebrity couple. He was the son of a pub landlord from Norfolk, she, his wife and dance partner, a New York doctor’s daughter. He was tall and slim, as poised as an elegant evening out, a template for the Hollywood idols who would follow. In a staid age, she was a glorious, modern beauty, with her haired cropped into a ‘shock’, a disdain for crippling corsets, a love of a martini and a good time. The Castles taught the world to dance to an altogether different tune, bringing social dancing out of stuffy ballrooms and into dance halls, night clubs and restaurants. For the first time, they made dancing in public respectable – and fun. Convention was discarded, fashion and style established. As a result, the couple lived and tangoed through torrential showers of stardust. When, in 1939, Hollywood filmed their story, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers played, and danced, the title roles. Together, they beat the censors and made their vibrant dancing acceptable for all. In the fashionable quarters of New York they opened a dance school and night clubs to which Society flocked. They broke the rules by touring with black musicians, and led the way forward to the Charleston-galloping Gatsby Generation. They enlightened and enchanted from London to Paris to New York, spreading a breathless joy, as though their music had one note, and their dances one step, too many. Launching one racy dance craze after another, they taught the world to dance – and often dress – the way we do today. Adored and acclaimed, they were stars long before the celebrity constellations grew crowded. Yet the whirlwind story of perhaps the most influential dance team ever is also one of tragedy. Their timing, so perfect in everything else, saw Vernon Castle, at the height of their fame, return to England to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps; he saw action as a pilot on the Western Front, winning the Croix de Guerre, while his wife made special appearances to support the Allied war effort. And then, in February1918, he was killed in a flying accident in Texas, while training American pilots for war. Irene received a last note from him: ‘When you receive this letter I shall be gone out of your sweet life. You may be sure that I died with your sweet name on my lips – be brave and don’t cry, my angel.’ She and many others did cry, for as far as the world was concerned Vernon and Irene Castle could have danced all night, and for ever.
About the Author
Douglas Thompson is the acclaimed author of more than twenty books, many of them bestselling biographies, including working with Christine Keeler to write her own revealing memoir. A biographer, broadcaster and international journalist, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers and magazines worldwide. Douglas is a director of one of Britain’s major literary festivals, and divides his time between a medieval Suffolk village and California, where he was based as a Fleet Street correspondent and columnist for more than twenty years. His most recent work for John Blake Publishing is Stephen Ward: Scapegoat, a study of the rakish charmer at the centre of the Profumo Scandal.
After Suharto gained power in Indonesia in the mid-1960s, he stayed as the country’s president for more than three decades, helped by the powerful military, hefty foreign aid and support from a coterie of cronies. A pivotal business backer for his New Order government was Liem Sioe Liong, a migrant from China, who arrived in Java in 1938. A combination of the Suharto connection, serendipity and personal charm propelled him to become the wealthiest tycoon in Southeast Asia. This is the story of how Liem built the Salim Group, a conglomerate that in its heyday controlled Indonesia’s largest non-state bank, the country’s dominant cement producer and flour mill, as well as the world’s biggest maker of instant noodles. The book features exclusive input from Liem, who died in 2012, and his youngest son, Anthony Salim. It traces the founder’s life and the group’s symbiosis with Suharto, his generals and family. After the tumultuous 1997-98 Asian financial crisis sparked Suharto’s fall and a backlash against the strongman’s cronies, Anthony staved off the crushing of the debt-laden group. Told in a journalistic style, the story of the Salim Group provides insights into Suharto’s New Order. For business executives, students and anyone with an interest in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, the volume makes a valuable contribution towards understanding the country’s modern history.