Born in 1909, Golo Mann was the son of novelist Thomas Mann. He read history, modern languages and philosophy at Heidelberg University. From 1933 to 1937 he taught at various French universities; from 1943 to 1946 he served in the US army and then taught for ten years in California. He was later Professor of History at the Universities of Munster and Stuttgart.
Professor Mann's previous books include Secretary of Europe (1946), a study of Friedrich von Gentz. His monumental biography of Wallenstein was published in Germany in 1971. In 1962 he was awarded the Fontane Prize by the city of Berlin, and in 1964 the Schillerpreis by the city of Mannheim as well as the Buchner Prize (1968), the Gottfried Keller Preis (1969), the Schiller-Gedachtnispreis (1977) and the Order Pour la Mérite. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He died in 1994.