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About the book
  • Published: 15 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099512776
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99
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Brother Mendel's Perfect Horse

Man and beast in an age of human warfare




Europe's twentieth-century history told through the incredible story of a horse: the Lipizzaner.

' "When you touch a Lipizzaner, you're touching history," Westerman was once told. His elegant book offers fascinating proof' Financial Times

Frank Westerman explores the history of Lipizzaners, an extraordinary troop of pedigree horses bred as personal mounts for the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. Following the bloodlines of the stud book, he reconstructs the story of four generations of imperial steed as they survive the fall of the Habsburg Empire, two world wars and the insane breeding experiments conducted under Hitler, Stalin and Ceausescu.

But what begins as a fairytale becomes a chronicle of the quest for racial purity. Carrying the reader across Europe, from imperial stables and stud farms to the controversial gene labs of today, Westerman asks, if animal breeders are so good at genetic engineering, why do attempts to perfect the human strain always end in tragedy?

  • Pub date: 15 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099512776
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Frank Westerman

Frank Westerman was born in 1964 and lives in Amsterdam. He is the author of seven highly acclaimed books, including Ararat, Engineers of the Soul and, most recently, Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse. His work has been published in more than fifteen languages and has won many prizes.

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Praise for Brother Mendel's Perfect Horse

“Westerman offers a reflective account of man’s obsession with the prized Lipizzaner horse”

Sunday Telegraph

“Westerman’s tale, part historical journey, part travel tome, takes the reader across Europe to explore every avenue of the Lipizzaner’s eclectic history”

Good Book Guide


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