Really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend this for anyone who wants to understand the personal experience of Europeans in the WWII era. Only 98 more pages to go and I started it six days ago. The history is from a different perspective than most Americans are used to reading.
It is accessible and approachable for almost anyone. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Madeleine Albright writes an easy to read well researched account of the events in Europe leading up to WWII and its aftermath. However, if you are expecting a story predominately about her family you will be disappointed. The book is more history than her story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago This book is a wonderful read. It gives a beautifully clear and focused insight into the period of pre and post war years in Czechoslovakia, along with outstanding recall of the years during WWII. Lessons we must never forget. Nocash More than 1 year ago This was a great book. I visited Prague for 2 days in while on a whirlwind tour of Europe. It is a beautiful city and I only wish I had read this book prior to my visit because it would have given me more insight into the history and culture of Czechoslovakia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago A book worth reading. I wanted to write the author and thank her for sharing her family story- it helped me understand the region and how history shaped it. He passed away many years ago and I would have loved to tour his birth city with him. The lessons which Ms. Anonymous More than 1 year ago This was history and the facts of life then presented in an open, honest and interesting way.
Glad I read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago History juxtaposed with "herstory" While telling of her childhood in and out of Czechoslovakia during WWII, Madeleine Albright also gives a history of Czechoslovakia as well as the politics that were occurring during the war. This is the first time I have been given a political history of what is happening in eastern Europe. She explains it very well. I could understand her. I liked how she explained the questions that arose from the politics and answered the question with what happened and what would have made the decisions better.
Sometimes she just explained why they did what they did. I liked the humor that popped up from time to time as she explained what was going on or as she spoke of the personalities involved. I liked the personal details from her childhood, growing up after , and finding her family's story. Well done and worth the read.
Her writing reads like a novel. But while the author, Madeleine Albright, who was U. Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration, did live through many of the events described, she was too young, for the most part, to have cogent memories of them today. What we have, mainly, is a history of the Czech national experience during the years of World War Two and immediately afterwards. On the other hand, Albright's father was Josef Korbel, who was highly placed in the government of Eduard Benes, the president of Czechoslovakia in the years leading up to the infamous Munich Agreement and then the leader of the Czech government in exile in London during the Nazi occupation of the country.
Albright makes use of her father's letters and other writings plus lots of extensive research to draw a very interesting picture of the history of these efforts. In addition, Albright tells us early on that she had been brought up as a Catholic, but that back when she became prominent in the American government, she was contacted by people who had known her family in the old country who told her that in fact both her parents, and her whole family extended family, had been Jewish.
Her parents, both passed away long ago, had never told her of this, but the revelation had led to lots of family research by herself and her siblings. It turned out to be true, and they discovered that many most of her aunts and uncles and cousins had been killed in the Holocaust. For better or worse, however, Albright presents most of this as a fait accompli in the book and never really delves much into the impact this information had on her personally. Perhaps, learning these facts so relatively late in life, with her personal identity already strongly set, there was no way for her to have have that identity seriously altered, to suddenly feel "Jewish," which is fair enough.
What is clear is that Albright was deeply moved by what she learned about her family members and their collective fate.
So this book, as I said, is a history of the Czech experience in the years just prior to, during and after World War Two intertwined with Albright's family history. That's all fine, especially given her father's positions.https://ducodarszino.tk
Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948
I learned a lot, especially about details of the machinations that lead up to the Munich Agreement, the agony with the Czechoslovak government as they decided whether or not to fight back against the Nazis even though their English and French "allies" had made it clear through Munich that no help would be forthcoming they chose not to fight, a decision still, apparently, debated within the country , as well as the developments post-WW2 that led to the establishment of a Communist dictatorship rather than a re-establishment of the pre-war democratic republic.
Sometimes Albright's using her family's experiences as a template for her book are helpful and sometimes they aren't. For example, because her family got out of Prague and spent the war years in London where, as I've said, her father was highly placed in the government in exile, we get an interesting picture of the struggles and concerns of that effort. But we also get a very lengthy and detailed description of life during the London blitz.
It would be one thing if we were getting Albright's actual memories, but in fact she was only five, so her memories are mostly vague and the chapter is much more research than memoir. That's fine for anyone who has never read an account of the blitz, but I have read many, and I found this account well done but mostly an interruption of the real story being told. And since the family was in England rather than in their home country, the account of the experience back home during the occupation by necessity becomes a straight history rather than any sort of memoir.
Also, because many of Albright's family members were imprisoned for years and ultimately perished in the Terezin concentration.
Prague Winter : Madeleine Albright :
Prague Winter has so much to share, please read this book. Plus, the time she actually lived in Czechoslovakia adds up to surprisingly little. Most of the memoir sections of the book are based on notes left by her parents and interviews with other relatives and survivors.
Czech history during World War II and subsequent years is chronicled in detail. Many of the autho'rs relatives were killed in the Holocaust, and that is detailed as much as possible. Since all of Albright's relatives were Jewish, it seems incredible that she did not learn of her Jewish heritage until Her parents converted to Catholicism during their time in London during the war and apparently never discussed the matter further with their children.
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- Prague winter: a personal story of remembrance and war, 1937-1948.
This is a good source of information about the history of a formerly progressive European nation and the what led to its Communist takeover as well as a little information on its return to democracy. Interesting but long on history.
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In a now famous incident, Albright did not know that three of her grandparents died in concentration camps during WWII since she did not know that her family was Jewish, until she was US Secretary of State. It seems that her discovery of this knowledge, as well as her father's history as a member of the Czech exile government in London inspired Albright to write this book, which struck me as a well researched and thoughtful history of the fall, occupation, and eventual Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia. Although I was familiar with much of the history in the novel, I felt like Albright's clear and concise presentation made it fresh and interesting to read.
Her family stories, which are spread throughout the book gave the history a more personal feel, which I really enjoyed as a reader. Books about this time period, particularly those that deal with the Holocaust, are never exactly enjoyable, but I like Albright's treatment of the material. Only towards the end of the book where the Communists takeover did she seem to lose the historians voice and offer a more biased view of the historical record.
Despite this, I found the book informative and well presented. Anonymous More than 1 year ago I loved it. As an American born person of check dissent, I thought it was an interesting book.
The Dilemma of Madeleine Albright
RachelGW More than 1 year ago This book was so wonderful. I spent a semester in Prague during college and this book made me appreciate the county, its history, and people even more than I already did. This book gives a great history and puts an interesting, personal touch on that history.
Couldn't put it down. Anonymous More than 1 year ago.
The impact on the Czech people and their world views were unknown to me.
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