Ambassador Norman Eisen: Inside Europe's Turbulent Century

When Norman Eisen moved into the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Prague and returned to the land his mother had fled after the Holocaust, he was startled to discover swastikas hidden beneath the furniture in his new home. These symbols of Nazi Germany were remnants of the residence’s forgotten history, and evidence that we never live far from the past.

Looking into the building’s history, Eisen discovered a remarkable story stretching back over 100 years. In his new book, The Last Palace, Eisen tells a captivating tale of the upheavals that transformed Europe over the past century and of four remarkable people who have called the ambassador’s residence home. Otto Petschek, an optimistic Jewish financial baron who built the palace, and Shirley Temple Black, famed child star and U.S. ambassador, both lived there. Eisen dives into the personal and political history that shaped both a country and a continent.

Join us for a conversation about history, diplomacy and the triumph of liberal democracy in the face of tragedy and dictatorship.

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Ambassador Norman Eisen

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic (2011–2014); Author, The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House; Twitter @NormEisen

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In Conversation with Steven Saum

Editor, Santa Clara Magazine