The Pity of It All is the compelling, moving story of the German-Jewish people from the eighteenth century until the eve of Third Reich, tracing their journey from a persecuted clan of outcasts and peddlers into a dazzling community of writers, philosophers and scientists.
From Moses Mendelssohn, who entered Berlin through the gate reserved for Jews and cattle and went on to become one of Europe's greatest men of letters, to Rachel Levin, the famed hostess of glittering salons; from the decadent Weimar and the genius of Einstein to philosopher Hannah Arendt's terrified flight from the Gestap in 1933, this is the untold story of nearly 200 years of astonishing creativity and fragile integration. Evoking a tragically lost work, The Pity of It All is the unique collective biography of a people.
"Brilliant, far-reaching, passionate. . .sweeping and marvelously detailed. . .finely, intimately, movingly drawn. . . a book for the ages." --"The New York Times" "[Elon] is a master of the telling anecdote. . ..One should be grateful for what Elon has done." --"Los Angeles Times" "A work packed with beautifully sketched portraits, and constructed with a practiced eye for memorable, well-executed anecdotes." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Impressive. . .Could hardly be improved upon." --"The New York Review of Books" "If there is one book Americans should read this winter, it is Amos Elon's "The Pity of It All--"a meticulous and wrenching history of a people in a place at a moment in time that bears urgently upon our own." --Joan Didion, author of "Political Fictions"