Fritz Stern writes more beautifully with every passing year. This collection of essays, written over the past decade, revolves around the eternal "German question," and historians' efforts to grasp it. Stern writes with all the poignancy of one who loves German civilization deeply and is determined to fathom how it could have done such terrible violence to others, and to itself. His quest for understanding goes forward with ever-deepening insight, humanity and fine moral judgment. The biographical essays on Einstein, Haber and Reuter are particularly perceptive and moving, as are the essays on German Jewry and the temptations of National Socialism. The essays on postwar Germany are wise and interesting but inevitably less authoritative.