Thomas Mann's Los Angeles: Stories from Exile 1940-1952

What started as the social media series #MannsLA by the Thomas Mann House in March 2020 turned into a book! Thomas Mann’s Los Angeles: Stories from Exile 1940–1952, which was published on July 12, 2022 by Angel City Press, paints a vivid portrait of Mann’s experience through beautiful illustrations by artist Jon Stich and about seventy brief, entertaining essays on literature, film, music, leisure, political thought, and more. As Mann and fellow émigrés used their skills to fight Fascism in their homeland, they also embraced and enriched the culture of their adopted city. The book also includes over 80 historic photographs.

The Manns hosted a who’s who of social, cultural, and political figures in their modernist home, designed by Case Study House architect J.R. Davidson. Their circle included writers Bertolt Brecht, Vicki Baum, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley; actor/screenwriter/activist Salka Viertel; Hollywood luminaries Max Reinhardt and Ernst Lubitsch; and musicians such as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg.

In addition to the cultural and political life of the city, Thomas Mann’s Los Angeles explores how the formidable Mann adapted to life as an Angeleno, enjoying the city’s many beaches, dining out at the Brown Derby, visiting the Hollywood Bowl, and taking walks through the neighborhood with his poodle, Niko. Short essays on each topic, written by forty-three experts and the editors Nikolai Blaumer and Benno Herz, provide fascinating insight into Mann’s life in exile and explore the people and places that shaped his experience.

The authors who contributed to the book are renowned Mann experts, Thomas Mann Fellows & friends of the Thomas Mann House:

Helmut Anheier, Sylvia Asmus, Tobias Boes, Anthony Caldwell, Adrian Daub, Heinrich Detering, Jaimey Fisher, Claudia Gordon, Glen Gray, Jeff High, Lily Hirsch, Morten Hoi Jensen, Jan-Christopher Horak, Rembert Hüser, Noah Isenberg, David Jenemann, David Kaplan, Stefan Keppler-Tasaki, David Kim, William Kinderman, Alexis Landau, Kaltërina Latifi, Steven Lavine, Irmela von der Lühe, Heike Catherina Mertens, Friedhelm Marx, Kalani Michell, Verena Mund, Lilian Pfaff, Andreas Platthaus, Donna Rifkind, Alex Ross, Martin Sauter, Friedel Schmoranzer, Stefan Schneider, Dianne Sippl, Michaela Ullmann, Friederike von Schwerin-High, Hans Rudolf Vaget, David Wallace, Lawrence Weschler, and Josh Widera.

The book, which is available in bookstores and to order, is published by Angel City Press together with the Thomas Mann House. It was presented at an event at the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles, where editors Nikolai Blaumer and Benno Herz will moderate a conversation with three of the authors: German Studies scholar Tobias Boes (University of Notre Dame), book critic and author Donna Rifkind, and music critic Alex Ross.




Thomas Mann's Los Angeles: Stories from Exile 1940—1952 is published by Angel City Press with the Thomas Mann House.

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