Saving Freud (Hardback)

A Life in Vienna and an Escape to Freedom in London

Andrew Nagorski

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'Astonishing… In the American journalist Andrew Nagorski this tale has found its ideal narrator'

'[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.

Andrew Nagorski was born in Scotland to Polish parents, moved to the United States as an infant and has rarely stopped moving since, serving as Newsweek's bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. He is the author of seven previous critically acclaimed books, including Hitlerland and The Nazi Hunters. He now lives in St Augustine, Florida, and continues to write for numerous publications.

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.Sebastian FaulksSunday Times
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 timelyProfessor Brett Kahr, Honorary Director of Research, Freud Museum London, and author of FREUD'S PANDEMICS
[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 lateKathryn HughesGuardian Book of the Day
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 controlJosh CohenTimes Literary Supplement
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 exodusRachel NewcombWashington Post
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.Simeon HouseMail on Sunday ****
In his fascinating new book Saving Freud, American author Andrew Nagorski pieces together the story of an eccentric bunch of friends and admirers of FreudYsenda Maxtone GrahamDaily Mail, Book of the Day
An insight-filled group portrait of the founder of psychoanalysis and his followers. It is also a psychobiographical thriller about the limits of genius Diane ColeWall Street Journal
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 timelyPatrick BlanchfieldNew Republic
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 ideasStephen FroshJewish Chronicle
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.Sylvia Nasar, author of A BEAUTIFUL MIND
This non-fiction work crackles like a novelSaving 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 bookKitty KelleyWashington Independent Review of Books
Fascinating, eminently readable… A fresh look at Freud… Freud was magnetic, mythic, and Nagorski's lively and suspenseful biographical history will, it is hoped, recreate interest in this unique figureJoan BaumNPR
Nagorski tells this little-known story in comprehensive and compassionate fashion.Sheldon KirshnerTimes of Israel
A richly contextual look at Freud's escape to London… Nagorski delivers a riveting page-turnera fine biographyKirkus starred review
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.Publisher Weekly
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 evilLynne Olson, author of MADAME FOURCADE'S SECRET WAR
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 KershawEmma Szewczak, author of THE OFFSET
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 relationshipsRebecca Erbelding, author of RESCUE BOARD
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 mindsKati Marton, author of THE CHANCELLOR


about this book

ISBN: 9781785788765

Price: 20.00 GBP

Pages: 336

Publication date: 04/08/2022


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