H for humanity

Stefan Zweig: Decisive Moments in History

ZweigWhat makes history? Or rather what makes a man enter history? Spur-of-the-moment decisions or a long-lasting tenacity? Does humanity produce its most stellar moments by sheer luck or by a deep-rooted will to change the world as we know it? Stefan Zweig offers us 14 historical miniatures from around the world, where a man’s slightest hesitation in a given moment might jeopardize his destiny, his nation, or better yet the world as we know it. The course of history has been determined by these 14 men who all faced their worst fears and acted upon them in dire circumstances. Some of them came to fame and their works became landmarks in history such as Lenin or Nuñez Balboa. Others were forgotten while their contribution to humanity will be forever engraved in our memory. Does anyone know who established the first Atlantic cable or wrote La Marseillaise? And finally the last category corresponds to those whose thirst for fame, wealth, honor or even recognition would never be quenched.

With a riveting prose, Zweig tells history like no other, leaving us breathless. Each story is a world of its own, and yet there’s a human bond connecting all of them, in glory and despair. So who makes history? Only those who seize the moment when opportunity strikes can make the cut.

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