This account of a teacher in Austria—a friend of Freud and one of the millions of victims of the Holocaust—is “beautifully written and deeply moving” (Joyce Carol Oates).
Peter Singer’s Pushing Time Away is a rich and loving portrait of the author’s grandfather, David Oppenheim, from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of his life in a concentration camp during the Second World War. Oppenheim, a Jewish teacher of Greek and Latin living in Vienna, was a contemporary and friend of both Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. With his wife, Amalie, one of the first women to graduate in math and physics from the University of Vienna, he witnessed the waning days of the Hapsburg Empire, the nascence of psychoanalysis, the grueling years of the First World War, and the rise of anti-Semitism and Nazism.
Told partly through Oppenheim’s personal papers, including letters to and from his wife and children, Pushing Time Away blends history, anecdote, and personal investigation to pull the story of one extraordinary life out of the millions lost to the Holocaust.
A contemporary philosopher known for such works as The Life You Can Save and Animal Liberation, Singer offers a true story of his own family with “all the power of a great novel . . . resonant of The Reader by Bernhard Schlink or An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro” (The New York Times).
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Peter Singer, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
“Pushing Time Away is suffused with the melancholy fog of Vienna on a winter afternoon. It has all the power of a great novel. Written in calm, understated prose, it is resonant of The Reader by Bernhard Schlink or An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. . . . An extraordinary work.” —The New York Times
“Fascinating . . . Singer’s moving book, haunted from the beginning by its terrible end, constitutes a revolt against the anonymity of the Holocaust’s grim statistics.” —The New Yorker
“Touching, thoughtful, and profound . . . few books of this sort have been as clearly and thus as beautifully written.” —The Washington Post
“There is something profoundly moving about this most acute, influential, and controversial of ethical thinkers reliving David Oppenheim’s life of moral and intellectual richness and his response, as a Jew, to the catastrophe of Nazism.” —David Edmonds and John Eidinow, authors of Wittgenstein’s Poker
“Peter Singer has brought to life with marvelous intensity the pre-war Vienna that was his grandparents’ home and, more particularly, the extraordinary Jewish community from which they came. The book is an act of defiance against those who sought to erase that community; and it is also a powerful work of emotional and intellectual engagements and a stunning memorial.” —Kwame Anthony Appiah, winner of the National Humanities Medal
“Oppenheim’s is a wonderful story, well told in Singer’s lucid, unadorned prose.” —The
“An altogether engrossing, multilevel journey. Singer richly recaptures the sparkling intellectual and social life, and the ultimate tragedy, of Viennese Jews.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Singer’s book is an exceptional eulogy to his grandfather.” —Booklist
“Engrossing.” —The Jewish Daily Forward
Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and laureate professor at the University of Melbourne’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. The most prominent ethicist of our time, he is the author of more than twenty books, including Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, and The Life You Can Save. Singer divides his time between New York City and Melbourne, Australia.