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The Orientalist Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life (Paperback)

Author:  Tom Reiss
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The Orientalist Reiss, Tom 1 of 1
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Learn more about The Orientalist:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0812972767
ISBN-13: 9780812972764
Sku: 31297272
Publish Date: 3/14/2006
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8H x 5.25L x 1.25T
Pages:  447
Age Range:  NA
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Describes the complex and fascinating life of Jewish writer Lev Nussimbaum, detailing his birth into a wealthy Jewish family, his flight from the Russian Revolution, his transformation into a Muslim prince, his rise to success as a best-selling author in Nazi German, and his premature death. Readers Guide included. Reprint. 35,000 first printing. *Author: Reiss, Tom *Subtitle: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life *Publication Date: 2006/03/14 *Number of Pages: 447 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.25 *Width: 5.25 *Height: 8.00
From the Publisher:
A thrilling page-turner of epic proportions, Tom Reiss's panoramic bestseller tells the true story of a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince in Nazi Germany. Lev Nussimbaum escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan and, as "Essad Bey," became a celebrated author with the enduring novel Ali and Nino as well as an adventurer, a real-life Indiana Jones with a fatal secret. Reiss pursued Lev's story across ten countries and found himself caught up in encounters as dramatic and surreal--and sometimes as heartbreaking--as his subject's life.
In 1920s Germany, the Azerbaijani nobleman Essad Bey was the most famous Muslim of the Weimar Republic. His articles, histories, and biographies opened European eyes to the rich culture of the Islamic world and made Bey the toast of the town, a man who wooed and won starlets, and hobnobbed with the political and artistic luminaries of the age. Under the pseudonym Kurban Said he wrote ALI AND NINO, a tragic tale of love between a Christian girl and a Muslim boy that is still print today. He was also a fraud. As Tom Reiss's fascinating new biography shows, Essad Bey was actually a fictional persona adopted by the Russian Jew Lev Nussimbaum, the son of a Baku oil millionaire, who had to flee after the Bolsheviks took power. When the Nazi caught wind of Lev's deception, he was forced to run once again, and eventually died in Italy at 36 of a rare disease while attempting to write the biography of Mussolini. THE ORIENTALIST is a wonderfully convoluted tale, full of Nussimbaum's many fabrications, which are almost as amazing as the man's actual life. More than just a wild tale, THE ORIENTALIST shows how Nussimbaum embodied the chaotic age, a time when cultures and worlds collided, and identity had become the most precious commodity of all.


"[A] wondrous tale, beautifully told, that took the author five years and patient detective work in 10 countries to reconstruct." - William Grimes 02/23/2005

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0447
Product attributePublisher:   Random House Trade
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