Prague Winter

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

3.96 (4,966 ratings by Goodreads)
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Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia--the country where she was born--the Battle of Britain, the near total destruction of European Jewry, the Allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War.Albright's experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. Drawing on her memory, her parents' written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly available documents, Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring. Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind and, simultaneously, a journey with universal lessons that is intensely personal.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. 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 exiled leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are nevertheless 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."No one who lived through the years of 1937 to 1948," Albright writes, "was a stranger to profound sadness. Millions of innocents did not survive, and their deaths must never be forgotten. Today we lack the power to reclaim lost lives, but we have a duty to learn all that we can about what happened and why." 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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Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 160.02 x 228.6 x 40.64mm | 861.82g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Black and White Photos throughout
  • 0062030310
  • 9780062030313
  • 247,701

Review quote

"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 New York Review of Books"
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About Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Madam Secretary, The Mighty and the Almighty, Memo to the President, and Read My Pins. She was U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career of public service includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. Currently, she is chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management. She lives in Washington, D.C.
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Review Text

"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 Philadelphia Inquirer
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Rating details

4,966 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,525)
4 43% (2,137)
3 20% (976)
2 5% (246)
1 2% (82)
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