History of Hungary: Millennium in Central Europe

Overview

This volume provides an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of Hungarian history, from the pre-historic age to the present day. Kontler adeptly steers the reader through ancient times, the great migration of peoples, and the creation and troubles of a Christian monarchy that arose in the region wedged between the Germanic and Russian lands. The author also explores the factors involved in the centuries-long process which has put Hungary at a disadvantage in coping with the challenges of modernity, including the ...

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Overview

This volume provides an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of Hungarian history, from the pre-historic age to the present day. Kontler adeptly steers the reader through ancient times, the great migration of peoples, and the creation and troubles of a Christian monarchy that arose in the region wedged between the Germanic and Russian lands. The author also explores the factors involved in the centuries-long process which has put Hungary at a disadvantage in coping with the challenges of modernity, including the country's economic backwardness, the social structure, revolutions, wars of independence, and territorial losses. A brief epilogue looks at Hungary's present process of transition to democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kontler...goes beyond basic information to provide penetrating interpretations of crucial moments in the Hungarian past."—P.W. Knoll, Choice
"Clearly conscientious and knowledgeable."—Tibor Fischer, The Guardian
"Rigorous analysis, strongly recommended to advanced students of history."—Istvan Deak, Times Literary Supplement
"A detailed, sophisticated treatment of the entire sweep of Hungary's long history."—Rebecca Gates-Coon, Austrian History Yearbook
"This is a magnificent work and, indeed, the best survey of Hungarian history ever published in any language.. . . This is a book which serves not only the general reader but also the specialist with an interest in just one part of Hungary's history. It is comprehensive, inspiring and provoking." Martyn Rady, University of London
Publishers Weekly
This impressive survey provides a comprehensive, intelligently argued and clearly written overview of the rich history of Hungary. Overshadowed by the more powerful Ottoman, Habsburg, Nazi and Soviet empires, Hungary's story is one of foreign domination punctuated by romantic but doomed revolts that, in 1848 and 1956, made Hungary the standard-bearer of freedom in the eyes of a rapt world. Kontler, a history professor at the Central European University in Budapest, tells this story in a brisk but detailed narrative that takes readers from Hungary's ancient origins to its present-day transition to democracy and struggle to find a place in the post-Communist European order. But he goes well beyond kings-and-battles political history to examine broader social, political and economic issues: the tension between Hungary's economic backwardness and its cultural and political affinity to the West; the difficulties of transforming a peasant society into a modern industrial economy; and the struggle to accommodate the competing nationalist aspirations of a multi-ethnic state within a liberal political order. These are important themes not just of Hungarian but of European history as a whole, and the author's searching discussions illuminate them in profound ways. Kontler's thorough scholarship, thoughtful analysis and skillful storytelling will impress students, academics and history buffs alike. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403903174
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/12/2006
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 1,436,359
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

László Kontler is Head of History at The Central European University in Budapest.

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Table of Contents

Preface
• Introduction
• Reflections in Symbolic Geography
• The Land, the Peoples, the Migrations
• The Making of a Medieval Monarchy (895-1301)
• Golden Ages and Decline (1301-1526)
• Wedged Between Empires (1526-1711)
• Enlightenment, Reform and Revolution (1711-1849)
• The Advent of Modernity and the Persistence of the Old Regime (1849-1918)
• In Search of an Identity (1918-1945)
• Utopias and their Failures (1945-1989)
• Epilogue
• List of Maps
• Note on Pronunciation
• Bibliography
• Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 6, 2008

    Well written and engaging!

    This book, while not exactly unbiased, does track through the entire history and prehistory of the Magyar people. It follows the linguistic and cultural backgrounds which forms the basis for the prehistory. Very intriguing. The book also posits various point of discord among historians which is beneficial. I like the rest of the book for its insight into the vast history. At times, though, the books jumps through huge periods of time in just a simple paragraph.

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