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 furniture.
From that discovery unspooled the captivating, twisting tale of the remarkable people who lived in the house before Eisen. Their story is Europe's, telling the dramatic and surprisingly cyclical tale of the endurance of liberal democracy: the optimistic Jewish financial baron who built the palace; the conflicted Nazi general who put his life at risk for the house during World War II; the first postwar US ambassador struggling to save both the palace and Prague from communist hands; the child star- turned-diplomat who fought to end totalitarianism; and Eisen's own mother, whose life demonstrates how those without power and privilege moved through history.
The Last Palace chronicles the upheavals that have transformed the continent over the past century and reveals how we never live far from the past.
NORMAN EISEN is a senior fellow at Brookings and a CNN commentator and chairs the U.S. watchdog group CREW. He served as US ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014, and as President Obama's ethics czar from 2009 to 2011. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and many other publications.