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Harry Graf Kessler: Faces and Times: an annotated translation by John Foster Leich (Paperback)

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Harry Graf Kessler (1868-1937) was an influential German patron of the arts, essayist, museologist, publisher, politician, diplomat, and pacifist, who knew and advised many leading European personalities of his time, from the aged Otto von Bismarck to Josephine Baker, the legendary American-in-Paris night-club star, from the philosopher Albert Einstein to the sculptor Auguste Rodin. The son of a wealthy Hamburg banker, operating in Paris, and an aristocratic Irish beauty (much admired by Germany's then Kaiser, Wilhelm I), Harry was educated and fluent in three languages, and later studied art, philosophy and law at the universities of Bonn and Leipzig. He introduced the French Impressionists to Germany, promoted Germany's membership in a United Europe, and was a close friend and biographer of the Weimar Republic's Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, whom he helped draft the Treaty Rapallo that normalized relations between defeated Germany and the new Soviet Union in 1922. He also collaborated with composer Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal in writing ballets for the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and dancer Vaclav Nijinsky. Kessler was a great diarist. This section of his memoirs, "Faces and Times," was first published in Germany in1935, but was almost immediately withdrawn, suppressed by the Hitler government, and all copies were burned. It was re-published in 1988; and it is this edition that Professor Leich has translated and extensively annotated. The book covers his family background, his earliest years, and his educational experiences in the French, English, and German systems. Then follows his first trip and transcontinental visit to the United states, a fascinating analysis of American politics and society in the 1890's; as well as a description of he very brief tenure as the unhappy ambassador of a defeated Germany to a newly-revived Poland after over a century of partition.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781439270714
ISBN-10: 1439270716
Publisher: Booksurge Publishing
Publication Date: January 4th, 2010
Pages: 436
Language: English