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Prague Winter LP: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948

Overview

Before she turned twelve, Madeleine Albright's life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of her native Czechoslovakia, the Battle of Britain, the attempted destruction of European Jewry, the Allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War.

Drawing on her memory, her parents' written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly-available documents, Albright recounts a tale of these years that is by turns harrowing and inspiring. The book ...

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Overview

Before she turned twelve, Madeleine Albright's life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of her native Czechoslovakia, the Battle of Britain, the attempted destruction of European Jewry, the Allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War.

Drawing on her memory, her parents' written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly-available documents, Albright recounts a tale of these years that is by turns harrowing and inspiring. The book takes readers from the Bohemian capital's thousand-year-old castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of Terezin to the highest councils of European and American government.

At once a deeply personal memoir and an incisive work of history, Prague Winter 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.

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Editorial Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A gripping account of World War II. . . . In taut prose, Albright weaves a powerful narrative that wraps her family’s story into the larger political drama unfolding in Europe.”
The New York Review of Books
“In the crowded field of memoirs written by former secretaries of state, Madeleine Albright’s books stand out. . . . Albright is a charming and entertaining storyteller.”
The Daily
“Albright has supplemented a deeply researched history of World War II-era Czechoslovakia with a moving family narrative.”
Michael Korda
Prague Winter is not only a family story-a proud and moving one-but a brilliant and multilayered account of how Czechoslovakia was formed along the most idealistic lines in the aftermath of World War I. An altogether fascinating and inspiring read.”
Leon Wieseltier
“A genuinely admirable book. Albright skillfully returns us to some of the darkest years of modern times. Spring eventually came to Prague, but in much of the world it is still winter. The love of democracy fills every one of these instructive and stirring pages.”
Walter Isaacson
“I was totally blown away by this book. It is a breathtaking combination of the historical and the personal. Albright confronts the brutal realities of the Holocaust and the conflicted moral choices it led to. An unforgettable tale of fascism and communism, courage and realism, families and heartache and love.
Vaclav Havel
“A remarkable story of adventure and passion, tragedy and courage set against the backdrop of occupied Czechoslovakia and World War II. Albright provides fresh insights into the events that shaped her career and challenges us to think deeply about the moral dilemmas that arise in our own lives.”
The Los Angeles Times
“A riveting tale of her family’s experience in Europe during World War II [and] a well-wrought political history of the region, told with great authority. . . . More than a memoir, this is a book of facts and action.”
The Washington Post Book World
“A compelling personal exploration of [Albright’s] family’s Jewish roots as well as an excellent history of Czechoslovakia from 1937 to 1948. . . . Highly informative and insightful. . . . I can’t recommend Prague Winter highly enough.”
The Economist
“Albright’s book is a sprightly historical narrative of this long decade. . . . Her account of the destruction of inter-war Czechoslovakia, both as a geographical entity and as an idea of democracy, first by the Nazis and then by the Communists, is balanced and vivid.”
The Jewish Journal
“A blend of history and memoir that reveals in rich, poignant and often heartbreaking detail a story that had been hidden from her by her own parents. . . . The beating heart of the book is Albright’s searing account of her intimate family saga.”
István Deák
“An extraordinary book. . . . Albright artfully presents a wrenching tale of horror and darkness, but also one in which decent and brave people again and again had their say.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062128423
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 752
  • Sales rank: 1,159,873
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Madeleine Albright served as America's sixty-fourth Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career also includes positions on Capitol Hill, the National Security Council, and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Setting Out l

Part I Before March 15, 1939

1 An Unwelcome Guest 21

2 Tales of Bohemia 27

3 The Competition 46

4 The Linden Tree 63

5 A Favorable Impression 93

6 Out from Behind the Mountains 117

7 "We Must Go On Being Cowards" 131

8 A Hopeless Task 164

Part II April 1939-April 1942

9 Starting Over 189

10 Occupation and Resistance 208

11 The Lamps Go Out 229

12 The Irresistible Force 252

13 Fire in the Sky 272

14 The Alliance Comes Together 294

15 The Crown of Wenceslas 320

Part III May 1942-April 1945

16 Day of the Assassins 341

17 Auguries of Genocide 368

18 Terezín 381

19 The Bridge Too Far 411

20 Cried-out Eyes 426

21 Doodlebugs and Gooney Birds 457

22 Hitler's End 478

Part IV May 1945-November 1948

23 No Angels 493

24 Unpatched 514

25 A World Big Enough to Keep Us Apart 529

26 A Precarious Balance 550

27 Struggle for a Nation's Soul 581

28 A Failure to Communicate 602

29 The Fall 616

30 Sands Through the Hourglass 631

The Next Chapter 653

Guide to Personalities 665

Time Lines 669

Notes 677

Acknowledgments 720

Credits 729

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