Mr. Acherson’s essay in the December 17, 2020 edition: ‘Who Betrayed Us?’ was so helpful in understanding the time, place and the politics of Germany of the period, not a very original comment. Yet reading the 1918 & 1919 entries in the diaries of Thomas Mann, which I’ve had since 1980, provided a reveltory history of the political actors and their contexts. In his review of November 1918: The German Revolution by Robert Gerwarth.
Ascherson’s essay helped to understand this ‘nonpolitical man’ as being very political, when it came to the ‘Left’: ‘Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg of the Spartakus League’ .
P.S. I had forgotten about Colm Tóibín’s essay of November 6, 2008 entitled ‘I Could Sleep with All of Them’ a review of ‘In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story’ by Andrea Weiss, that provides insights ,or perhaps a better descriptor, a family portrait of the Mann’s .