The Grand Spas of Central Europe: A History of Intrigue, Politics, Art, and Healing


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.2 X 1.2 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

David Clay Large is a senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and professor of history at the Fromm Institute, University of San Francisco. He has also taught at Smith College, Yale University, and Montana State University. Among his many books are Berlin, Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936, and Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games. Large divides his time between San Francisco and Bozeman, Montana.


In this learned, thoroughly researched, and elegant study, the distinguished Central European historian David Large begins our grand tour of spas with Greek and Roman bathing rituals, carrying his fascinating story into the turn of the twentieth century.--John Merriman, Charles Seymour Professor of History, Yale University
This absorbing book is just as diverting and delightful as the places it chronicles once were. Large writes with verve and style, and he knows how to put vivid characters and vignettes to the service of important historical points. An altogether arresting and rewarding overview of modern European history through an unconventional and entertaining lens.--Peter Hayes, Northwestern University
There is no better, more mischievous, more companionable guide to German history than David Clay Large. Once again he has written a book that draws on deep expertise, deep research, a keen knowledge of social texture, and yet reads like a guilty pleasure. The history of the spas reveals modern Europeans wrapped only in towels.--David Quammen, author of The Song of the Dodo and Spillover
[Clay Large's] account is spirited and entertaining.--The New York Review Of Books
With scintillating wit and a storyteller's élan, David Large is the perfect guide to the colorful history of Europe's spa culture. This is serious scholarship leavened with delicious gossip about spa celebrities, from Beethoven and Tolstoy to Karl Marx and Mark Twain.--Adrienne Mayor, author of The Poison King and The Amazons
With a focus on the grand spas of Germany and Habsburg Austria, the author of this book provides an engrossing and entertaining history of their development as centers of healing and as hubs of social, cultural, and political maneuvering. His anecdotes about famous cultural figures taking the waters lend fresh insight into their influence and personalities.--Historian