Charlie English is the former head of international news at the Guardian. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he is the author of The Snow Tourist and the widely acclaimed The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu. He lives in London.
'A superbly told story of worlds colliding ...There's so much
that's wonderful about this book; it's hard to know where to start
heaping praise. It is by turns intriguing, tragic, horrifying and
'English has written a terrific book, taut and thematic ... As
beautiful as it is bleak'
'Engrossing ...The work of these artists, much of which
miraculously survived the war, lives on as testament to the variety
of human experience, and of ways to communicate what it feels like
to be alive'
'Compelling ... The twin strands of Hitler's thinking on art and
racial purity draw remorselessly together ... Memorable'
'A riveting tale, brilliantly told'
'A fascinating new book'
'Fascinating ... Journalist English unpacks Hitler's mad
campaign against mentally ill artists ... English's story feels
strikingly relevant. While shedding new light on this piece of
history, English also provides a cautionary tale for the
'An extraordinary, deeply researched work which is a testament
to the Prinzhorn artists'
'Perhaps only in 1920s Weimar Germany where expressionism and
dadaism were exploring the dark sides of sex and fantasy could the
art of the mentally ill first get its due. And perhaps only in
Germany could the story Charlie English tells so well have ended in
such horror. English takes us through uncharted artistic waters in
a narrative of great humanity: a gripping journey into art, madness
and modern history'
Jonathan Jones, author of Sensations
'Dazzling ... This poignant narrative centres on the complicated
psychiatrist Hans Prizhorn and the eccentric patient artists whose
work helped usher in a new epoch of the modernist avant-garde only
to become fodder for Hitler's hateful ideology of "degeneration".
Richly wrought, and deeply researched'
Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire