The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House

The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House

A masterfully told and immersive narrative about the last hundred years of European history, as seen through an extraordinary mansion ? and the lives of the people who called it home When Norman Eisen moved into the US ambassador?s residence in Prague, returning to the land his mother had fled after the Holocaust, he was startled to discover swastikas hidden beneath the f A masterfully told and immersive narrative about the last hundred years of European history, as seen through an e...

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Title:The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House
Author:Norman Eisen
Rating:
Genres:History
ISBN:0451495780
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:416 pages pages

The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House Reviews

  • Tony
    Sep 21, 2018
    THE LAST PALACE. (2018). Norman Eisen. ****. This turned out to be a chatty review of the history of Czechoslovakia and the rest of Europe during the turbulent period after WW I up to the present day. The author was the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 2011 to 2014 and has a sol...
  • Terzah
    Jun 18, 2018
    A very enjoyable history lesson disguised as a great yarn. I learned much about 20th century Europe though the stories of one palace and its occupants. ...
  • Karyl
    Oct 11, 2018
    I heard about this book on NPR during one of my marathon ironing sessions, and considering that I'm fascinated both by the Holocaust and by Europe in general, this book seemed right up my alley. It still boggles my mind that in my lifetime, eastern Europe was behind the Iron Curtain, a...
  • Barbara
    Sep 19, 2018
    I was fortunate to receive this book through a goodreads giveaway and found it engrossing from the first page to the last. Mr. Eisen provides a fascinating and informative book on the history of the Petschek Palace in Prague.The book is both a memoir and a journey through the times of...
  • Maine Colonial
    Sep 26, 2018
    Thanks to the publisher, Crown, for providing an advance reviewing copy. I like histories told through a place. And what a place in this case. Just imagine a Jewish man who grew up poor becoming a wealthy industrialist and deciding to build a grand, palatial house in the heart of Pr...
  • Kelsey
    Aug 10, 2018
    This was a fascinating story by the former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Every US ambassador lives in this beautiful palace in Prague and have done so for many years. THE LAST PALACE takes the reader through the history of this famous building; we learn about its creation, role ...
  • Diane S ☔
    Feb 14, 2019
    Extensively researched, this fascinating narrative provides a look at the changing political climate in Prague. The palace was built by Otto Petschek, in the 1920's, his family was in banking and invested in the mines, they were all quite wealthy. Although Otto claimed to have an altru...
  • Mitch
    Nov 27, 2018
    The Last Palace was mostly a compelling read that relates the 20th century history of Prague and Czechoslovakia. Anyone who has proceeded through a home remodel could at least somewhat relate to Otto Peschek's obsessive quest to build his ideal home. The story of the velvet revoluti...
  • Meryl Landau
    Jul 03, 2018
    Norm Eisen's The Last Palace is a fascinating look at 20th century Europe. This history unfolds through the inhabitants of a singular palace in Prague, built after World War I by a Jewish banker and industrialist, confiscated by the Nazis during WWII, then lived in by three consequenti...
  • Kathy Stone
    Nov 24, 2018
    This is a really good book. This is the history of the building that the United States would make the US Embassy in the Czech Republic. It was built by an eccentric Jew with a large coal fortune in the ninety twenties. He traveled all over Europe to make sure he had the best of everyth...
  • Argum
    Aug 07, 2018
    I won a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads. The former Ambassador to the Czech Republic tells a brilliant story of European wars, a single house, a single family, and what democracy means. As the child of a Czechoslavakian Holocaust survivor, he returned to the most f...
  • Lorna
    Oct 27, 2018
    The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House was a moving and beautiful memoir in which author Norman Eisen relates how financial magnate Otto Petschek had a dream to build a beautiful palace unlike any other for his family in the heart of Prague fo...
  • Patti
    Sep 05, 2018
    Overall an engaging story but the writing left a bit to be desired. The author loves to state the obvious and repeats himself, for example when talking about how Shirley Temple Black's husband trusted her knowing she was feisty. Yes, we get it. And we understand that she was HUGELY fam...
  • Sher
    Feb 14, 2019
    I enjoyed this book, probably a 3 for me. It wasn't as academic or scholarly as I like and more of a light read. This says something about me, and not the author , necessarily, and I saw many 4 and 5 star reviews online regarding this read. It was a creative premise to write a book ...
  • Marie Look
    Aug 23, 2018
    I was excited to receive my ARC of The Last Palace from Penguin Random House's First To Read program, however I was ultimately disappointed in this book for two main reasons. First, its cover and summary had given me the impression that the incredible house itself would be a character ...
  • Louise
    Dec 18, 2018
    The book covers the 20th century history of Czechoslovakia (now two countries) through the life of what was, most likely, the last palace built in Europe. The story begins with the Petschek family and ends with the author's taking up residence in their palace/home as the US Ambassador ...
  • Terri Wangard
    Apr 25, 2018
    This is the biography of a palace and the history of a nation in the twentieth century. The story of Otto Petschek is fascinating. His father sought to keep a low profile, but not Otto. Building himself a palace proved to be folly for him, estranging his children, bringing himself to t...
  • Bob H
    Aug 27, 2018
    This book covers the life and times of a great house in Prague, amid a tumultuous century for the city and the country. It's worth noting that the book comes to print at a time of several anniversaries: 50 years after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 and the crushin...
  • Sara
    Jul 29, 2018
    The Last Palace presents the history of Prague and Czechoslovakia through the lens of the Petschek Palace and the residents who occupied it. The palace, the most opulent in Prague, was built after WWI by a wealthy Jewish businessman, Otto Petschek, to his unique and demanding specifica...
  • Jill Meyer
    Jul 15, 2018
    The city of Prague is geographically in the middle of what we used to call "Eastern Europe". The city, now the capital of the Czech Republic, has long been a magical, mystical place and its history is pretty much the history of the whole area. I am half-Czech, like former US Ambassador...
  • Larry Hostetler
    Aug 20, 2018
    Would give this 4.5 stars if I could, only because the title somewhat misleads. It is not so much about ?The Last Palace? itself (the content about the structure was five star worthy) as about Prague and the political world around it sine the Palace was conceived. I also found the ...
  • Edna Axelrod
    Aug 16, 2018
    This is an excellent book, a meticulously researched and detailed work of non-fiction that is written with the pace of a thriller. Spanning more than a century, the historical events related here are inherently gripping. The people who built, inhabited, occupied, preserved, and labored...
  • Kayla Tornello
    Aug 09, 2018
    This book offered a look at Czechoslovakia's history. It centered around the opulent palace built by Otto Petschek. After the Jewish Petscheks fled the country on the brink of WWII, the palace was occupied by Germans during the war and eventually became the residence of the U.S. ambass...
  • Michael
    Aug 05, 2018
    I received this book through a GoodReads "First Reads" Giveaway. "The Last Palace" was built in the 1920s by Otto Petschek, a wealthy Jewish financier and coal baron. Through the lives of Petschek and three other former residents of the palace, Eisen takes the reader through Prague?s...
  • Elisabeth Ahlefeldt-Laurvig
    Oct 19, 2018
    I would have loved that it was not just "greatest moments", but that we also heard a little about the dreary everyday life between the war and the dramas of 1968 and 1989. Also I had hoped to learn more about the house and the people in it. Eg. the caretaker from Otto Petschek's day...
  • Katie B
    Jul 18, 2018
    3.5 stars There were a couple reasons I was interested in reading this book. The first being I got to visit Prague a few years ago and it really is a beautiful city. Second, back when my husband and I lived in Germany, we loved going to see the different castles and palaces so I was...
  • Mike He
    Aug 08, 2018
    Not only is Norman Eisen a skilled diplomat representing the US interests in the Czech Republic in the Obama administration, but also he is a great story teller as evidenced in The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House. The well-researched book, ...
  • Jerome
    Feb 18, 2019
    As Norman Eisen mentions early in the book, Goethe referred to architecture as "frozen music". In a well-written and personal narrative, the author delves into the history of a building, where he served as US ambassador to the Czech Republic, that echoed the triumphs, trauma, and trage...
  • Glenn Giuttari
    Oct 28, 2018
    Is's not often you find history in such readable fashion. Beginning with the Petschek family and the building of the Palace, European history of the last century unfolds thru the actions of four residents of this magnificent structure. Meticulously documented (on line), I found myself ...
  • Kelly
    Jul 29, 2018
    Norman Eisen?s The Last Palace is a beautiful and personal story of Czech history over 100 years, told through his perspective and that of four previous occupants of the Petschek palace (later home of American ambassadors to the Czech Republic) as well as his own mother. It starts wi...