Man of Arms: The Life and Legend of Sir Basil Zaharoff
'Never before or since in History, has a single man, who was neither monarch, politician
nor general, achieved such a powerful and sinister influence over the nations of
the world.' Born in 1849 in Asia Minor, of dubious origins, Zaharoff changed his
name several times. He was a notable linguist especially eloquent in the language
of bribery. Zaharoff was an extraordinary man -
On his death in 1936 an epithet read 'A Million Died That He Might Live'. This secretive, reclusive man was described as 'the mystery man of Europe' and the 'Merchant of Death'. It was believed Zaharoff engineered, prolonged and finally put an end to the First World War. He was the archetypal warmonger and capitalist profiteer of popular imagination. How much of his life was real or legend?
'Zaharoff, as Anthony Allfrey's sprightly and detailed new biography demonstrates, was larger than life several times over.'
'There is much else to excite the ordinary reader in this compelling book'.