The Fly Swatter: Portrait of an Exceptional Character, by Nicholas Dawidoff
Paperback in Very Good Condition
In The Fly Swatter, Nicholas Dawidoff--bestselling author of The Catcher Was a Spy--vividly reconstructs the life of his grandfather, Alexander Gerschenkron-the Harvard professor who knew the most.
A fascinating character, Gerschenkron feuded with Vladimir Nabokov and John Kenneth Galbraith, flirted with Marlene Dietrich, and played chess with Marcel Duchamp and one-upped both Isiah Berlin and (allegedly) Ted Williams. At Harvard, this celebrated polyglot was known as “The Great Gerschenkron.” He was an influential economic theorist who knew twenty languages and so much about so many other things that he was offered chairs in three departments. All this after beginning life with traumatic dramatic escapes from the Bolsheviks (in 1920) and the Nazis (in 1938). Riveting and eloquent, The Fly Swatter's most unusual accomplishment is that it succeeds in telling the extraordinary story of a man's soul.