Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City

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Prague is at the core of everything both wonderful and terrible in Western history, but few people truly understand this city's unique culture. In Prague in Black and Gold, Peter Demetz strips away sentimentalities and distortions and shows how Czechs, Germans, Italians, and Jews have lived and worked together for over a thousand years.
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About the author

Peter Demetz, Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Yale University, was born in Prague.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Hill and Wang
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Published on
Mar 18, 1998
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781429930642
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Eastern
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Drawing on her own memory, her parents’ written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly-available documents, former US Secretary of State and New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring.

Before she turned twelve, Madeleine Albright’s life was shaken by some of the most cataclysmic events of the 20th century: the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, the Battle of Britain, the attempted genocide of European Jewry, the allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. 

In Prague Winter, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family’s Jewish heritage many decades after the war, on her Czech homeland’s tangled history, and on the stark moral choices faced by her parents and their generation. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exile leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong. 

Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind, a journey with universal lessons that is simultaneously a deeply personal memoir and an incisive work of history. It serves as a guide to the future through the lessons of the past, as seen through the eyes of one of the international community’s most respected and fascinating figures. Albright and her family’s experiences provide an intensely human lens through which to view the most political and tumultuous years in modern history.

AN ECONOMIST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin's greatest crimes—the consequences of which still resonate today

In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization—in effect a second Russian revolution—which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them.

Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.

Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.
A British Fascist in the Second World War presents the edited diary of the British fascist Italophile, James Strachey Barnes. Previously unpublished, the diary is a significant source for all students of the Second World War and the history of European and British fascism.

The diary covers the period from the fall of Mussolini in 1943 to the end of the war in 1945, two years in which British fascist Major James Strachey Barnes lived in Italy as a 'traitor'. Like William Joyce in Germany, he was involved in propaganda activity directed at Britain, the country of which he was formally a citizen. Brought up by upper-class English grandparents who had retired to Tuscany, he chose Italy as his own country and, in 1940, applied for Italian citizenship. By then, Barnes had become a well-known fascist writer. His diary is an extraordinary source written during the dramatic events of the Italian campaign. It reveals how events in Italy gradually affected his ideas about fascism, Italy, civilisation and religion. It tells much about Italian society under the strain of war and Allied bombing, and about the behaviour of both prominent fascist leaders and ordinary Italians. The diary also contains fascinating glimpses of Barnes's relationship with Ezra Pound, with Barnes attaching great significance to their discussion of economic issues in particular.

With a scholarly introduction and an extensive bibliography and sources section included, this edited diary is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the ideological complexities of the Second World War and fascism in 20th-century Europe.
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