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

3.95 avg rating
( 4,323 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780062030344: Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948

“A remarkable story of adventure and passion, tragedy and courage set against the backdrop of occupied Czechoslovakia and World War II.” —Václav Havel

From former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright comes a moving and thoughtful memoir of her formative years in Czechoslovakia during the tumult of Nazi occupation, World War II, fascism, and the onset of the Cold War. An intensely personal journey into the past that offers vital lessons for the future, Prague Winter combines the intimacy of an autobiography with the drama of an exciting and well-told story—all underpinned by the gravity and intelligence of a serious work of history. The result is a highly readable and incisive work filled with tragedy and triumph, a resonant narrative informed by Albright’s remarkable life experience and her characteristic candor in speaking hard truths.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:


Madeleine Albright on Writing Prague Winter

On the evening of February 4, 1997, I led the cabinet into the House of Representatives prior to the President’s annual address—the first woman ever to do so. Exchanging greetings with senators and other dignitaries, my heart should have been joyful; instead, I was stunned. That morning’s Washington Post headline had read: “Albright Family Tragedy Comes to Light.”

I was 59 when I learned from a reporter and from certain letters I had received that my ancestral heritage was Jewish and that more than two dozen of my relatives had died in the Holocaust. The revelation shook my deeply ingrained sense of identity, and prompted me to seek answers to questions that I had never before thought to ask. That search began with visits to the small towns in Czechoslovakia where my parents had grown up and to the ancient synagogue where the names of Holocaust victims are enshrined. Prague Winter is a continuation of that personal journey, but also a much wider tale concerning a generation compelled to make painful moral choices amid the tumult of war.

In 1939, when efforts by British and French leaders to appease Hitler had backfired, the Nazis invaded my homeland. I was not yet two years old. My parents escaped with me to London where my father became head of broadcasting for the Czechoslovak government in exile. Strangers in an embattled land, we endured along with our new neighbors the terrible bombing of the Blitz. Back home, the German occupation quickly evolved into a reign of terror under the direction of Reinhard Heydrich, “The Butcher of Prague.” As preparations were made to exterminate the country’s Jews, Czechoslovak parachutists returned to their native soil with a mission: to kill Heydrich -- the only successful assassination of a senior Nazi during the war. In the months that followed that daring assault, Czechs suffered from Hitler’s vengeance, while Jews confined to the infamous Terezin ghetto struggled to retain hope despite overcrowded conditions and the periodic departure of fellow inmates on trains to the east. In England, Czechoslovak leaders maneuvered to reclaim their country’s independence; my mother and father agonized over the fate of loved ones who had remained behind.

From the day America entered the war, my parents and their friends were confident the Allies would win. As democrats from Central Europe, they prayed that the United States—not the Soviet Union—would wield the decisive postwar influence in our region. It was not to be. When at last the Nazis were defeated, Czechoslovakia became again a battleground between democracy and totalitarianism; before long, my family was forced into exile for the second time, finding a permanent home in America.

The story of Prague Winter is often as intensely personal as a mother’s letter, a father’s hidden sorrow, and the earnest artwork of an imprisoned ten-year-old cousin. The themes, however, are universal: loyalty and betrayal, respect and bigotry, accommodating evil or fighting back. What fascinates me is why we make the choices we do. What prompts one person to act boldly in a moment of crisis and a second to seek shelter in the crowd? Why do some people become stronger in the face of adversity while others quickly lose heart? What drives many of us to look down on neighbors based on the flimsy pretexts of nationality and creed? Is it education, spiritual belief, parental guidance, traumatic events, or more likely some combination that causes us to follow the paths that we do? My search for answers compelled me to look back—to the time of harshest winter in the city of my birth.

From the Back Cover:

Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, 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. 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.

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. 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.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by Harper Perennial (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
pickabook
(san francisco, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000108199

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.49
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Albright, Madeleine
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800620303440000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by Harper Perennial
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Skymedia
(PLANTATION, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0062030345 New Book, may have some minor shelf wear. Fast Shipping, Excellent Customer Service, Satisfaction Guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # E-3-273

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. By turns harrowing and inspiring, Prague Winter is Madeleine Albright s account of her early life from 1937 to 1948, a dozen years that witnessed the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, World War II, the Holocaust, the defeat of fascism, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. Her experiences, and those of her family, provide a unique lens through which to view this tumultuous period in modern history. Moving from the thousand-year-old Prague Castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of Terezin to the war councils of Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt and Hitler, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family s Jewish heritage decades after the war, her Czech homeland s tangled history, and the stark moral choices faced by her parents, ordinary citizens, and the leaders of their generation. Drawing on her memory, written reflections, newly-released documents, interviews with contemporaries, and other primary sources, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exiled leaders and foot soldiers, resistance figures and collaborators, victims and killers. Albright points out that the response to these life and death issues was often shaped by concepts familiar even to a child like Madeleine had been at the time: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, and the difference between right and wrong. As universal as it is deeply personal, Prague Winter offers a unique perspective on World War II, the relationship between generations, and the impact of time on our assessment of the truth. Emotionally compelling and often startling in its frankness, this volume is a guide to the future through the lessons of the past, as seen through the eyes of one of the world s most respected and fascinating figures. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062030344

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by Harper Perennial (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2013. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "A remarkable story of adventure and passion, tragedy and courage set against the backdrop of occupied Czechoslovakia and World War II." Vclav Havel From former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright comes a moving and thoughtful memoir of her formative years in Czechoslovakia during the tumult of Nazi occupation, World War II, fascism, and the onset of the Cold War. An intensely personal journey into the past that offers vital lessons for the future, Prague Winter combines the intimacy of an autobiography with the drama of an exciting and well-told storyall underpinned by the gravity and intelligence of a serious work of history. The result is a highly readable and incisive work filled with tragedy and triumph, a resonant narrative informed by Albright's remarkable life experience and her characteristic candor in speaking hard truths. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062030345

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.68
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. By turns harrowing and inspiring, Prague Winter is Madeleine Albright s account of her early life from 1937 to 1948, a dozen years that witnessed the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, World War II, the Holocaust, the defeat of fascism, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. Her experiences, and those of her family, provide a unique lens through which to view this tumultuous period in modern history. Moving from the thousand-year-old Prague Castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of Terezin to the war councils of Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt and Hitler, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family s Jewish heritage decades after the war, her Czech homeland s tangled history, and the stark moral choices faced by her parents, ordinary citizens, and the leaders of their generation. Drawing on her memory, written reflections, newly-released documents, interviews with contemporaries, and other primary sources, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exiled leaders and foot soldiers, resistance figures and collaborators, victims and killers. Albright points out that the response to these life and death issues was often shaped by concepts familiar even to a child like Madeleine had been at the time: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, and the difference between right and wrong. As universal as it is deeply personal, Prague Winter offers a unique perspective on World War II, the relationship between generations, and the impact of time on our assessment of the truth. Emotionally compelling and often startling in its frankness, this volume is a guide to the future through the lessons of the past, as seen through the eyes of one of the world s most respected and fascinating figures. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062030344

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.70
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by Harpercollins (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Commerce, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harpercollins, 2013. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VC-9780062030344

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0062030345

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.37
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by Harper Perennial
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 4
Seller
Movie Mars
(Indian Trail, NC, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0062030345 Brand New Book. Ships from the United States. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee!. Bookseller Inventory # 16165782

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Albright, Madeleine
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc (2013)
ISBN 10: 0062030345 ISBN 13: 9780062030344
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
PBShop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2013. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780062030344

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book