Thomas Mann was hard on all his children, Golo, born in 1909, included. The son, who became a distinguished historian and a literary and cultural critic, recalls the difficult years of growing up in the prosperous and celebrated Mann family and depicts his own hard march to independence. He remembers the major influences on his early life and thus provides a brilliant perspective on the Weimar years. He left Germany when Hitler came to power, left Europe when Hitler conquered it and eventually left America to return to Switzerland. His memoirs are interspersed with reflections; these are commentaries of a rich mind with a conservative bent. A wise witness of his own life and of his era.