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Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna Hardcover – 15 Jul 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; First Edition edition (15 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862076960
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862076969
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 928,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential living philosopher. In 2005 Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2014 he was third on the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute's ranking of Global Thought Leaders. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. He first became well-known internationally after the publication of Animal Liberation in 1975. In 2011 Time included Animal Liberation on its "All-TIME" list of the 100 best nonfiction books published in English since the magazine began, in 1923. Singer has written, co-authored, edited or co-edited more than 40 books, including Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle; How Are We to Live?, Rethinking Life and Death, The Ethics of What We Eat (with Jim Mason), The Life You Can Save, The Point of View of the Universe (with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek), and, most recently, The Most Good You Can Do. His works have appeared in more than 25 languages.

Peter Singer was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1946, and educated at the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford. After teaching in England, the United States and Australia, he has, since 1999, been Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. Since 2005 he has combined that position with the position of Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. He is married, with three daughters and four grandchildren. His recreations include hiking and surfing. In 2012 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the nation's highest civic honour.

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Review

‘A beautifully written and deeply moving personal document by one of our pre-eminent contemporary philosophers’ -- Joyce Carol Oates

‘An altogether engrossing, journey. Singer richly recaptures the sparkling intellectual and social life, and the ultimate tragedy, of Viennese Jews... -- Publishers Weekly

‘Pushing Time Away has all the power of a great novel' -- New York Times

‘Pushing Time Away has all the power of a great novel...an extraordinary work’ -- New York Times

‘The personal descent into Nazi hell, however many times told, still pierces the heart...a moving and accomplished tribute’ -- The Sunday Times

‘We are treated to a piece of classic Singer...by means of his grandfather’s writings, through which he searches assiduously' -- The Independent

About the Author

Peter Singer is the Ira W. Decamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University's Center for Human Values. He is the bestselling author of Animal Liberation, and his forthcoming book The President of Good and Evil: Taking George W. Bush Seriously is published by Granta Books in spring 2004.


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Format: Hardcover
At the end of Peter Singers commemorative book for his grandfather there is a philosophical question: Given an atheist and naturalist worldview - am I able to do something good for a dead person by devoting my time to her thinking and by writing a book about and for her. Yes, says Singer, though a little bit restrained, we can do something for the dead by standing up for the values we share with them even if they unfortunately can't look down on us from a cloud.
That's after a bit less than 300 pages in which life, thinking and time of David Oppenheim have been resurrected in our mind's eye. The simple style of this biography almost appears a little bit clumsy at the beginning (as one can't help to compare it with the stringent and brilliant way of argumentation in Singers philosophical treatises). But it soon turns out as the right way to bring us close to the time between Belle Epoque and Nazi desaster and to the inevitability of the described personal fates. We are even enabled to understand what seems ununderstandable from a modern point of view: that the intellectuals of the time got infected by the excitement for war in great numbers at the beginning of World War I. David Oppenheim didn't have the distance of the few either. He was to well assimilated to his society to gain independence in this situation (as did for example the extraordinary Bertrand Russell). But changed into an opponent of war by the cruel mass killing on the battlefields he later teaches his students the values of humanity. When Nazism takes over Austria he finds one reason after the other not to use the window of opportunity for fleeing overseas. He learns English but isn't really able nor willing to cut his deep rootedness in german culture.
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