Frank Westerman

Brother Mendel's Perfect Horse
  • Brother Mendel's Perfect Horse

  • ' "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?

Frank Westerman was born in 1964 and lived and worked in Moscow from 1997 to 2002 as correspondent for the leading Dutch NRC Handelsblad newspaper. Westerman is the author of five highly praised books. His work has been published in more than ten languages and has won many prizes.