Book Review: Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright

Share Button
Arti­cle first pub­lished as Book Review: Prague Win­ter: A Per­sonal Story of Remem­brance and War, 1937–1948 by Madeleine Albright on Blogcritics.

About:
Prague Win­ter: A Per­sonal Story of Remem­brance and War, 1937–1948 by Madeleine Albright is a non-fiction book in which the author talks about the years men­tioned from her per­spec­tive. Some­what per­sonal, adven­tur­ous and mov­ing, this mem­oir takes the reader on a Euro­pean his­tory les­son which is not often told.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book -to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post.

  • 480 pages
  • Pub­lisher: Harper Peren­nial
  • Lan­guage: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062030345

Book Review Prague Winter A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright

My rat­ing for Prague Win­ter — 5

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic (Kin­dle enhanced with audio) format*

More Books by Madeleine Albright

More Rec­om­mended World War II books on Man of la BookStore

Thoughts:

""There is not deeper cause for despair than mali­cious hope (Hitler proved that), and few traits more valu­able than sad­ness and anger at suf­fer­ing. The dis­tinc­tion that mat­ters is not whether a story con­cludes hap­pily but whether there is at its core an affir­ma­tion that life has mean­ing. That is why this book of remem­brance and war will end in hope."

My grand­fa­ther was born in Bratislava, a city in Czecho­slo­va­kia. He wasn’t very talk­a­tive, my grand­fa­ther, and would answer ques­tions very spar­ingly and it is a shame that I did not ask that many. He passed away many years ago and I would have loved to tour his birth city with him. That is if he was will­ing to do so, he man­aged to escape the Nazi occu­pa­tion as a teenager but never saw his par­ents or sis­ter again who were mur­dered in the con­cen­tra­tion camps (his brother became a par­ti­san and they reunited after the war).

That is one of the many rea­sons I wanted to read this book, I wanted to learn more about his­tory which I didn’t even know I was curi­ous about. How­ever, the more I read the book the more I real­ized that I have heard the names of Czech lead­ers and states­man even though I did not know exactly what their con­tri­bu­tions were.

Prague Win­ter by Madeleine Albright was a book which sur­prised me from start to fin­ish. At first I thought I was pick­ing up a mem­oir by the famed Sec­re­tary of State about her child­hood, but what I got was a first-class les­son in his­tory before, dur­ing and after World War II from per­spec­tive seen thor­ough Czecho­slo­va­kian eyes.

As a daugh­ter of Josef Kör­bel, a Czecho­slo­va­kian diplo­mat, Mrs. Albright has a unique life­time per­spec­tive of the country’s sit­u­a­tion and blends her per­sonal insights into the polit­i­cal dynam­ics which shaped Euro­pean and Amer­i­can poli­cies dur­ing those tur­bu­lent years. The author’s fas­ci­nat­ing nar­ra­tive and per­spec­tive drew me into the book from the first sev­eral pages and engrossed me until the last page.

This book should be on the read­ing list of every State Depart­ment employee. The lessons which Ms. Albright brings to the fore­front can save us from the same traps that gave rise to the Nazis and also the com­mu­nists at the end of the war. The book also high­lights indi­vid­ual achieve­ments, where sim­ple peo­ple rise to the occa­sion in small, mean­ing­ful ways which don’t make it to the his­tory books (Jews cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity in a ghetto, Lon­don­ers’ band­ing together dur­ing the bomb­ing, as well as indi­vid­ual diplo­matic achieve­ments for democ­racy) but are inspir­ing and meaningful.

The book includes pic­tures from the Kör­bel fam­ily col­lec­tion of peo­ple and events, the writ­ing is amaz­ing and even the foot­notes are superb. Ms. Albright’s grasp of polit­i­cal mea­sures, his­tor­i­cal events and artic­u­late nar­ra­tive makes this book a grip­ping read.

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic (Kin­dle enhanced with audio) format*

More Books by Madeleine Albright

More Rec­om­mended World War II books on Man of la BookStore

Give­away

  • Give­away ends: March 4, 2013

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Con­grat­u­la­tions: ayancey@

TLC Book Tour for Prague Win­ter by Madeleine Albright :

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

Share Button

Enjoy this post? Why don't you sign up for the RSS feed