Portrait of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). By Jakob Emanuel Handmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leonhard Euler: Mathemtical Genius in the Enlightenment

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in Books
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From the first moment it all sounded very promising. A biography about a mathematical genius in the enlightenment period – thus checking off three of my favourite topics in just the book’s title already. With some caveats, I wasn’t disappointed. While not too well-known in popular culture, it is hard to overstate Euler’s accomplishments in … Read More →

Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist by Niall Ferguson

Posted by on Jul 9, 2017 in Books, Politics

Henry Kissinger is one of the architects of our current political order. First sworn in as fifty-sixth secretary of state on September 22, 1973, he received the Nobel Peace Prize that same year, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Medal of Liberty in 1986. This was a world away from Fürth, Germany, where he was born in 1938 as Heinz Alfred Kissinger to an Orthodox Jewish school teacher. With the election of Donal Trump and rising nationalism across the world, we are looking into the next chapter, a new New World Order. As ever, it helps to understand the past to make predictions for the future, which is why I was looking forward to reading Dr. Kissinger’s new biography by Niall Ferguson.

Terracotta Warriors Group, Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California

‘Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century’ by Gideon Rachman

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in Books, Politics
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This is a book I’ve been quite excited to read. I follow Gideon Rachman’s columns in the Financial Times and posts on Twitter regularly as he is one of the eminent foreign policy journalists today. Of course, he is also a Western journalist so even though he has travelled through most parts of the world and lived … Read More →

Lessing and Lavater as guests in the home of Moses Mendelssohn. Painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim 1856

Moses Mendelssohn and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing by Vera Forester

Posted by on Nov 29, 2015 in Books
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Spoiler alert – this book is currently only available in German. This book on the not-so-well-known story of a great friendship that developed between Moses Mendelssohn and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, two giants of the Enlightenment period, had a great impact on me. Beyond their fascinating correspondences and meetings, their very connection and lives themselves symbolise … Read More →

Moses Montefiore - Jewish Liberator. Imperial Hero.

Review: Moses Montefiore by Abigail Green

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Books
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This book was not a serendipitous purchase. I have always liked biographies for several reasons. Many argue that life still produces the most interesting stories – often more empathetically engaging and visceral than anything an author could dream up. What makes them my favourite literary genre, however, is something else. Well-written biographies capture not only … Read More →