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The Radetzky March 

The Radetzky March (1932)
A novel by Joseph Roth

 
Joseph Roth's 1932 novel, The Radetzky March, starts with an accident that creates a dynasty. When an infantry lieutenant steps in front of a bullet intended for the young Franz Joseph, the Austro-Hungarian emperor rewards him with wealth, promotion, and a knighthood. Almost overnight, Joseph Trotta is "severed" from his ancestors, and his family is transformed from unremarkable soldiers and peasants living in the outer reaches of the empire to barons and high-ranking officials living near the imperial palace. As long as Franz Joseph is the Kaiser, their status is secure. But when Trotta happens upon a schoolbook account of the event that exaggerates his heroism, he is shaken:
He had been driven from the paradise of simple faith in Emperor and Virtue, Truth, and Justice, and, now fettered in silence and endurance, he may have realized that the stability of the world, the power of laws, and the glory of majesties were all based on deviousness.
As World War I approaches and the monarchy's limitations become apparent, Trotta's son and grandson become even further removed from this paradise. They continue to follow the codes of honor and duty, though such behavioral guides become pointless, even burdensome, in a world shorn of simple faith in an emperor. Trotta's grandson Carl Joseph finds his military career overwhelmed by bad horsemanship, alcohol dependency, frivolous roulette and baccarat debts, and misguided love affairs--the kinds of flaws, he thinks, that are inevitable without the self-assurance and practical knowledge that he would have gained had he earned (rather than inherited) his position. Not long ago, he thinks wistfully, his family lived as peasants "in dwarfed huts, making their wives fertile by night and their fields by day." It is here that the Trottas' demise is at its most poignant, as the focus of the narrative shifts from the loss of status to the far more devastating loss of purpose.

In both style and temperament, Roth's novel stands between the 19th and 20th centuries, and the three Trottas could be seen as part of a progression that stretches back to Tolstoy's Prince Andrei and looks ahead to the Mathieu of Sartre's Les Chemins de la Liberté trilogy. Although The Radetzky March illustrates why the monarchy was doomed, and isn't blind to the new nations and ideologies on the horizon, Roth is more interested in his characters' psychology than their politics. And their central difficulty--the bewildering meaninglessness that follows the dissolution of an ideal--has been a fundamental 20th-century dilemma. The Trottas are, in Roth's stunning phrase, "homesick for the Kaiser." One need only substitute "the Chairman" or "Marxism" or "God" to understand the novel's lasting resonance. --John Ponyicsanyi

 
Used availability for Joseph Roth's The Radetzky March


See all available used copies of this book at: Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

 

Hardback Editions

December 1969 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 1862075131 / 9781862075139 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon   Amazon CA   

September 1996 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March (Everyman's Library Classics)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 1857151976 / 9781857151978 (UK edition)
Publisher: Everyman
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon   Amazon UK   

September 1996 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March (Everyman's Library)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0679451005 / 9780679451006 (USA edition)
Publisher: Everyman's Library
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

December 1983 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0879511982 / 9780879511982 (USA edition)
Publisher: Overlook Pr
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon   Amazon CA   

March 1995 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0879515481 / 9780879515485 (USA edition)
Publisher: Overlook Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon   

May 1974 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0713904690 / 9780713904697 (UK edition)
Publisher: Allen Lane
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

May 1974 : Hardback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0879510153 / 9780879510152 (USA edition)
Publisher: Overlook Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

Paperback Editions

January 2013 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 1847086144 / 9781847086143 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

September 2011 : Paperback
Title: Radetzkymarch (in Danish)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 8763815214 / 9788763815215
Publisher: Rosinante
Availability: Amazon UK   

August 2002 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March (Works of Joseph Roth)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 1585673269 / 9781585673261 (USA edition)
Publisher: Overlook TP
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon   Amazon UK   

November 2003 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 1862076057 / 9781862076051 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

December 2000 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March (Penguin Modern Classics)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0141185279 / 9780141185279 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

August 1995 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0879515589 / 9780879515584 (USA edition)
Publisher: Overlook Press
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon UK   Amazon   

June 1995 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0140188533 / 9780140188530 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon UK   Amazon   

January 1995 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0879511893 / 9780879511890 (USA edition)
Publisher: Overlook Pr
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

March 1984 : Paperback
Title: The Radetzky March (Modern Classics)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 014006463X / 9780140064636 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

9999 : Paperback
Title: Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: 0701127791 / 9780701127794 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto and Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Kindle Editions

January 2013 : Kindle edition
Title: The Radetzky March
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: B00A79HNVS
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon UK   

August 2002 : Kindle edition
Title: The Radetzky March (Works of Joseph Roth)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: B005TEZMR8
Publisher: Overlook
Availability: Amazon   

December 2000 : Kindle edition
Title: The Radetzky March (Penguin Modern Classics)
Author(s): Joseph Roth
ISBN: B002XHNMQ2
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   

 


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