The Last Palace

by Norman L. Eisen  |  ISBN: 978-0-451-49578-5  |  Type: Hard Bound

2018, Crown Publishing LLC, New York

This is a easy read, more like an novel than non fiction, about people who were all giants in their times, and the remarkable palace that they shared. The story revolves about the family that built this wonder, with a wealth of detailed descriptions from the inside. The author lived in this palace, as US Ambassador during the Obama presidency. 

This is a story that weaves the author's own tragic family's history, as his mother barely survives the Holocaust, along with the magnificent rise of Otto Petschek, to become one of the wealthiest men in Europe, the intrigues of post WW II, pre cold war, relations between East and West, and finally, the child star, Shirley Temple Black, who manages to be be part of Czech history by being in Prague in both 1968 and 1989, from soviet invasion to velvet revolution.

This is a worthy read for anyone interested in the 20th century history, through the eyes, and the residence, of the US Ambassador. The bibliography alone would be sufficient for some graduate or post graduate study of the modern Czech State in the 20th century.