Saving Freud (Paperback)
A Life in Vienna and an Escape to Freedom in London
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'Astonishing… In the American journalist Andrew Nagorski this tale has found its ideal narrator'
SEBASTIAN FAULKS, Sunday Times
'[A] thrilling book, as edge-of-your-seat gripping as any heist movie'
Kathryn Hughes, Guardian Book of the Day
'A gripping masterpiece'
BRETT KAHR, Freud Museum London
March 1938: German soldiers are massing on the Austrian border, on the cusp of fulfilling Hitler's dream of absorbing the country into the Third Reich. Many Jews make frantic plans to flee to safety. But one of the most famous men in the world, unable to contemplate leaving his beloved Vienna, is not among them. His name is Sigmund Freud.
Saving Freud is the story of a great man's life, and of the extraordinary people who managed to prolong it, by convincing him to escape to London: the Welsh physician who brought psychoanalysis to Britain; Napoleon's great-grandniece; an American ambassador; Freud's devoted daughter, Anna; and the doctor who risked his own life by staying at Freud's side.
In examining the histories of both Freud and his closest circle, Andrew Nagorski brilliantly evokes the story of Europe in the first half of the Twentieth Century. This is a tale of a great city, a collapsing empire, a rising terror -and of a man who would change the way we think.
The astonishing story of Sigmund Freud's last-minute escape from Vienna… In the American journalist Andrew Nagorski this tale has found its ideal narrator: clear, objective and keen to keep things moving.
Andrew Nagorski has written a gripping masterpiece about one of the greatest figures in history, whose insights about human beings as "savage beasts" could not be more timely
[A] thrilling book, as edge-of-your-seat gripping as any heist movie, tells the story of how a "rescue squad" was marshalled to get Freud out of danger before it was too late
Unabashedly gripping and enjoyable, taking on the characteristics of a thriller as it builds to its denouement… Nagorski vividly evokes the atmosphere of [Vienna] in the 1930s, and especially the sudden and violent transition, after decades of resentful tolerance towards its Jewish citizens, to a mood of genocidal hostility. He also offers a tightly controlled, tension-filled account of the inexorable fall of Austria into the abyss of Nazi control
Nagorski tells a riveting new story, one that shows just how narrow Freud's escape from the Nazi genocide was… The narrative pace and Nagorski's fluid writing give this book the character of an adventure story. It is an engrossing but sobering read that reminds us how many others without the resources of the Freud family had no similar options to make an exodus
Fascinating… As Nagorski illustrates with cultural insight and a careful pacing of events, his flight to safety in order to 'die in freedom' amounts to a tale of unlikely resistance at a time of appalling tragedy.
In his fascinating new book Saving Freud, American author Andrew Nagorski pieces together the story of an eccentric bunch of friends and admirers of Freud
An insight-filled group portrait of the founder of psychoanalysis and his followers. It is also a psychobiographical thriller about the limits of genius
Nagorski mixes the pacing of a historical thriller (think Alan Furst, but nonfiction, and starring therapists instead of spies) with a meditation on the limits of insight and what it means to be attached to a specific place and to live in a given moment in time…The result is hard to put down, poignant, and distressingly timely
In a time in which the standing and integrity of psychoanalysis continues to be questioned, [Saving Freud] manages to show the extent to which people were entranced by Freud, how much this led some of them to love him, and how in doing so they revealed the deep ethical core of his person and his ideas
An intimate, touching portrait of a genius as an old man. Ill, myopic, in denial and terribly vulnerable, this Freud is more human than any I've encountered before. Andrew Nagorski has an artist's eye for revealing detail and a novelist's ability to bring to life a long lost world and its myriad denizens.
This non-fiction work crackles like a novel… Saving Freud seems to have been written for the silver screen, and one can only hope that someone like Steven Spielberg finds his way to this book
Nagorski tells this little-known story in comprehensive and compassionate fashion.
A richly contextual look at Freud's escape to London… Nagorski delivers a riveting page-turner… a fine biography
Sigmund Freud's vibrant life in Vienna and narrow escape from the Gestapo are recounted in this entertaining history… The result is an invigorating look at a lesser-known chapter of Freud's well-documented life.
As exciting and suspenseful as a spy novel, Andrew Nagorski's masterful narrative reveals how an eclectic group of Sigmund Freud's friends, ranging from an American ambassador to a French-born princess, came together to do the seemingly impossible: engineer his rescue from Nazi-controlled Austria as the Gestapo were closing in. Their successful efforts underscore how powerful love, loyalty, and friendship can be, even in the midst of overwhelming evil
A riveting analysis of exile, old-age and friendship, Nagorski uses his characteristic clarity to tell an untold story about a well-known man. Highly exciting and no less historically ambitious for it; John Le Carré meets Ian Kershaw
With his characteristic clarity and meticulous research, Nagorski has once again produced a masterful work. Saving Freud is a page-turner, mixing biography and escape narrative, with a powerful reminder that historians need to pay attention not just to words, but to relationships
Part engrossing biography of the father of psychoanalysis, part vivid group portrait of the circle of notables who rescued Sigmund Freud from the Nazis, Saving Freud … captures the power of self-delusion and denial among even the most brilliant minds