Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche

Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Ben Macintyre

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 24mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 14 March 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 140883815X
  • ISBN 13: 9781408838150
  • Illustrations note: 16pp black and white
  • Sales rank: 348,590

Product description

In 1886 Elisabeth Nietzsche, Friedrich's bigoted, imperious sister, founded a 'racially pure' colony in Paraguay together with a band of blond-haired fellow Germans. Over a century later, Ben Macintyre sought out the survivors of Nueva Germania to discover the remains of this bizarre colony. Forgotten Fatherland vividly recounts his arduous adventure locating the survivors, while also tracing the colorful history of Elisabeth's return to Europe, where she inspired the mythical cult of her brother's philosophy and later became a mentor to Hitler. Brilliantly researched and mordantly funny, this is an illuminating portrait of a forgotten people and of a woman whose deep influence on the twentieth century can only now be fully understood.

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Author information

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of nine books including Agent Zigzag, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, the number 1 bestseller Operation Mincemeat and, most recently, the Richard & Judy Book Club selection, Double Cross. He lives in London with his wife and three children.

Customer reviews

By Matthew Tones 11 Sep 2013 3

The book is no academic work and does not pretend to be, written by a journalist in a journalistic fashion.
The author has done a very good job to present the history of Paraguay and a smattering of discussion regarding Nietzsche's philosophy.
The breadth of the work certainly warrants merit and fills in important details of academia otherwise lacking.

My one major criticism of the work concerns the actual colony itself. If we remove the above mentioned discussions then the colony, the primary topic of the book, occupies less than 1/6th of the work.

Review quote

Fascinating, provocative and highly eccentric New York Times Witty, intelligent and told with a rollicking, trenchant style Boston Globe Macintyre's journey to rediscover Nueva Germania deep in the Paraguayan forest and his descriptions of what he found, make compelling reading. But more fascinating still is the story Macintyre interleaves with his discovery, that of Elisabeth's own life and her deliberate distortions of her brother's philosophy to make it accord with her own -- Julia Neuberger Sunday Times Remarkable and entertaining ... Macintyre weaves the many threads together with considerable literary skill, jumping backwards and forwards between Paraguayan past and present, between the Germany of Bismarck and of Hitler ... a parade of exotic figures and tall tales inhabit the story -- Richard Overy Observer Macintyre's powers as a writer are wonderfully responsive. This year's crop of travel books is unlikely to yield anything more bizarrely compelling -- Jonathan Keates Independent Excellent travel writing: vivid, sympathetic, humorous -- R.J. Hollingdale Guardian Macintyre's report from the tattered remnants is startling, dark and absorbing Independent