A grandson of the influential German-American book publisher Kurt Wolff—who founded Pantheon Books—Sports Illustrated journalist Alexander Wolff investigates his fraught family history, offering a sweeping portrait of the turmoil of the 20th century and the legacy of immigration from Nazi Germany.
Ultimately the real energy of Endpapers comes not from Wolff’s impressive reconstruction of his father and grandfather’s biographies, but from the way he adds himself to the narrative, bringing us back to the present ... Endpapers is more than a book of history; it’s a transnational, intergenerational reckoning.
... an event-filled biography and, along the way, a captivating case study in the challenges faced by refugees attempting to remake a life ... [the elder] Wolff brought about convulsions of his own, shaking up the American postwar literary scene. His grandson’s book, as enlightening as it is engaging, measures the effects.
Stories of Kurt fleeing from Nazi-controlled France and Nico’s tour on the eastern front are engrossing ... The author delves deeply into his ancestry to unravel the complex stories of his multigenerational family, and to show how his father’s and grandfather’s traumatic lives affected him ... Overall, this fascinating, sometimes brutal, and in a few minor instances, rambling narrative will grasp the attention of readers interested in the Holocaust and modern German history.