Descriptions Right and Left
“[A] remarkably prescient novella prefiguring the collapse of morality and the rise of Nazism” by the celebrated Austrian author of The Emperor’s Tomb (Publishers Weekly).
With tragic foresight, Right and Left, first published in 1929, evokes the nightlife, corruption, political unrest, and economic tyranny of Berlin in the twenties, the same territory covered in Roth’s trenchant reportage.
After serving in World War I, Paul Bernheim returns to Berlin to find himself heir to his recently deceased father’s banking empire. Troubled by skyrocketing inflation and his brother’s infatuation with the brownshirts, Bernheim turns to an outsider for help—a profiteering Russian émigré whose advice proves alternately advantageous and disastrous. Too late to change his fate, Bernheim realizes he has been deceived by a master in the craft of manipulation.
“Although less widely known than many of Roth’s novels, Right and Left is a superb example of his anatomy of the psychology of fascism.” —Los Angeles Times