Review by Choice Review
During the reign of William II and until the end of the Weimar Republic, Harry Kessler played a significant role in the cultural and political life of Germany and, indeed, of Europe. William II, whose tastes in the arts ran toward traditional neoclassical work, made no secret of his dislike for Kessler's enthusiasm for new departures in drama, painting, and sculpture, and the two clashed publicly in 1904. When war broke out, Kessler fought with courage for his country until Verdun, when his nerves gave out. After 1918, Kessler, who hitherto had been as conservative in his political views as he had been radical in his artistic preferences, moved to the left. Throughout the Weimar years Kessler defended the League of Nations and, side by side with Einstein, argued for pacifism. When Hitler came to power, Kessler fled Germany. He died in exile in 1937, and his death may have come in large part from his despair over the future of Germany and Europe. In this brilliant biography, Easton (California State Univ., Chico) offers much more than a portrait of this remarkable and cosmopolitan man. He provides a wealth of unique insights into the history of the early 20th century. All levels and collections. S. Bailey Knox College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.