A collection of essays and speeches by Stefan Zweig from the 1930s and 1940s on the theme of the need for European unity - of great relevance today.
Stefan Zweig was a leading talisman of a united Europe of unfettered movement, of pro-active cultural exchange, humane decency and tolerance, all polar opposites of the Nationalist regimes he loathed, and which came to power in the 1930s. In these poignant essays and addresses, forged in the last years or even months of his life, he shows his profound concern for and dedication to the survival of Europe's spiritual integrity.
These essays form the natural accompaniment to Zweig's renowned memoir The World of Yesterday, registering the same themes and evoking the same nostalgia for a world brutally consigned to history. They can be seen as a vital addendum to that major work or as a prefiguration. But perhaps even more so than the prose of the memoir, these essays, few in number but rich in content, reveal the essence of Zweig's thought.
Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a translator and later as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoying literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.
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