NEW STATESMAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015
'Sublime ... it inspires a kind of evangelical cult passion among its devotees' Simon Schama
'Roth is Austria's Chekhov' William Boyd
Strauss's Radetzky March, signature tune of one of Europe's most powerful regimes, presides over Joseph Roth's account of three generations of the Trotta family in the years preceding the Austro-Hungarian collapse in 1918. Grandfather, son and grandson are equally dependent on the empire: the first for his enoblement; the second for the civil virtues that make him a meticulous servant of an administration whose failure he can neither comprehend nor survive; the third for the family standards of conduct which he cannot attain but against which he is too enfeebled to rebel.
Joseph Roth was born in 1894 into a Jewish family living in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and now split between Poland and Ukraine. He became a successful journalist and travelled widely, eventually becoming best-known for his novels The Radetzky March (also in Penguin Modern Classics), The Emperor's Tomb and The Legend of the Holy Drinker . He died in Paris in 1939.