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The Wagner Clan: The Saga of Germanys Most Illustrious and Infamous Family Hardcover – December 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The grandiose life of Richard Wagner—the pronouncements on art and the German soul, the petty groveling for money and favors, the intermittently atrocious politics and intermittently glorious music—was a tough act to follow. Carr (Mahler: A Biography) follows Wagner's descendants through three generations as they fight each other for control of the Bayreuth Festival and, at opportune times, embrace, reject or sweep under the rug their forebear's status as Nazism's spiritual godfather. (It's a bum rap, Carr concludes, after a nuanced analysis of Wagner's writings and music that finds his anti-Semitism vile but muddled and probably not eliminationist.) Much of the story belongs to outsiders who married into the family: Wagner's wife, Cosima, a chillingly implacable anti-Semite; his son-in-law Houston Chamberlain, a racist ideologue revered by the Nazis; and his daughter-in-law Winifred, who clasped Hitler—affectionately dubbed Uncle Wolf by her children—to the family's bosom. Carr's sprightly, fluent narrative places the family in its historical and intellectual context without reducing it to the symbolic effigy it has often become. Photos. (Jan.)
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Richard Wagner this is not it, and you need to buy another book. This is the story of how the family was able to retain control of Wagner's preformances. I found the first part of the book to be most interesting since it discribes Richard and events up to 1947. The post World War II porition of the book is less interesting since it resembles a "soap opera" and I lost interest in the spoiled Wagner grandchildren and great grandchildren.
his music and the unsavory family dramas (a kind of hell really) as well.
It is no wonder that "The Economist" nominated it as one of the ten
best books of 2007.
It deserves it really.