A Life in Letters
Translated and edited by Michael Hofmann
Norton, $39.95, 512 pp.
Although the Austrian novelist Joseph Roth died less than a hundred years ago (in 1939), he speaks to us today as if from another world. He was born in 1894 in Galicia, a child of the Dual Monarchy—that rambling remainder of Christendom. He was a journalist, writing thousands of pieces for German newspapers throughout the 1920s and ’30s. And he was Jewish. These biographical facts form the basis of his masterpiece, The Radetzky March (1932), now widely...
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