"What binds us pushes time away".
So wrote David Oppenheim, classical scholar, collaborator and then critic of Sigmund Freud, friend and supporter of Alfred Adler, participant in and observer of the intellectual and cultural highs and lows of early 20th-century Vienna.
Oppenheim's grandson, the philosopher Peter Singer, never knew his grandfather, for Oppenheim died as a victim of the Nazis before Singer was born. Fifty years after Oppenheim's death, Singer set out to get to know his grandfather. He found a wealth of written materials, including intimate personal letters, and was startled to read things he had never expected about his grandparents, and their families and friends. Nevertheless, what bound him to his grandfather was a passion for understanding ideas about universal values and human nature that did "push time away".
Through the unique documents, Singer gives readers a rare glimpse into the controversial circles around Freud and Adler at a time when Vienna had the most vibrant, and also most intensely Jewish, intellectual life in Europe.