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Decisive Moments in History: Twelve Historical Miniatures (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought Translation Series)

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572410671
ISBN-10: 1572410671
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  • Decisive Moments in History: Twelve Historical Miniatures (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought Translation Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

About the Author

Stefan Zweig was born in Vienna in 1881. During his literary career he produced poetry, dramas, and narrative prose, but achieved his greatest acclaim as the writer of lively biographies of cultural and creative personalities in European history and literature, as well as essays and significant reminiscences about life and culture in the Austrian monarchy. He committed suicide in Brazil in 1942.
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought Translation Series
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ariadne Press (May 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572410671
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572410671
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is not outstanding just because it gives valuable information about the historical events or characters but also for describing events like a story-teller. The book has 12 topics for different historical characters or events. All of them are marvelous. But especially, the part that describe the death of Tolstoy as a drama just made me write this review. This is the best historical book that I have ever read.
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Zweig writes, without ever being verbose, about twelve events he finds momentous. The translation is superb. The events tend to be centered around central Europe, or Europeans, which is why I wrote "not universal." In any case, who could definitively select the twelve most important moments ever? The description of the people involved is searching and severe when needed, and the motivation for choosing them usually convincing; these people had "big lives" and Zweig has a passion for his fellow humans. The book is often a page-turner, and the reader is rapidly exposed to a wide range of experiences. I enjoyed every story.
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Format: Paperback
Zweig is a writer who once was among the most popular in Europe. He is one of the great literary biographers. He has great narrative power and his work has a quality which I think might be called ' intellectual suspense' He can make ideas and moments of history live. I have found that reading his works is a very pleasurable and enriching experience.
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Format: Paperback
These moments are the death of Cicero, the conquest of Byzantium, the discovery of the Pacific Ocean, the composition of Handel's Messiah, the composition of the Marseillaise Rouget, the Battle of Waterloo, the adventure of gold in California, the first transatlantic cable the conquest of the South Pole and three moments more. Narrated with language novel, screenplay type, one is absorbed in his reading and absorbed in their characters.
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Each of these historical miniatures is a gem in its own right. Some tell of those who failed miserably when thrust by chance or choice on the world stage while others tell of those who seized the moment and succeeded in their life quest, sometimes going far beyond what even they had envisioned for themselves. This is my introduction to Zweig and I'll go from this to his history of Marie Antoinette.
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What a nice surprise! Another example of the versatility of Stefan Zweig -- who wrote three hours a day with novellas, essays, historical commentaries throughout his career, even on the day he decided to die. This book tells stories of twelve historical moments where a decision was made that changed the world. As a confirmed insomniac I found the stories a perfect cure for re-setting the brain -- short and intriguing --and helping the reader fall asleep again.
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Absolutely fascinating!!!! A brilliant work. One of the moments he talks about is a man called John August Sutter, who bought land in San Francisco and the area adjoining, and farmed it prior to the Gold Rush. When the Gold Rush arrived men had no qualms about shooting the farmers, and terrified, they all fled the land!!!!
After twenty years, he sued for restoration of his lands.
On the steps of Congress Hall on the 17th July 1880 he finally had a heart attack and died - a dead beggar with a treatise in his pocket which according to law he could claim the greatest fortune in the history of the World!!!!
The other eleven moments in History are equally amazing - A GREAT WRITER!!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book - great spirit demonstrating incredible human high point of view on our common history . Of course it is smoothed for 1920 audience - but message is there even now . People. What Zweig personality represent is comfort-ability not to be an ordinary man. He would like to be as his heroes idolises and from his pedestal see pain and grim reality of what history is - was. Man who never was and with great talent he brought the beauty of narrative to lives of many people. His biography is interesting to read. Amok is a name.
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