The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
'The Hungarians' is the most comprehensive clear-sighted and absorbing history ever of a legendarily proud and passionate but lonely people. Much of Europe once knew them as 'child-devouring cannibals' and 'bloodthirsty Huns.' But it wasn't long before the Hungarians became steadfast defenders of the Christian West and fought heroic freedom struggles against the Tatars (1241) the Turks (16-18th centuries) and among others the Russians (1848-49 and 1956). Paul Lendvai tells the fascinating story of how the Hungarians despite a string of catastrophes and their linguistic and cultural isolation have survived as a nation-state for more than 1 000 years. Lendvai who fled Hungary in 1957 traces Hungarian politics culture economics and emotions from the Magyars' dramatic entry into the Carpathian Basin in 896 to the brink of the post-Cold War era. Hungarians are ever pondering what being Hungarian means and where they came from. Yet argues Lendvai Hungarian national identity is not only about ancestry or language but also an emotional sense of belonging. Hungary's famous poet-patriot Sandor Petofi was of Slovak descent and Franz Liszt felt deeply Hungarian though he spoke only a few words of Hungarian. Through colorful anecdotes of heroes and traitors victors and victims geniuses and imposters based in part on original archival research Lendvai conveys the multifaceted interplay on the grand stage of Hungarian history of progressivism and economic modernization versus intolerance and narrow-minded nationalism. He movingly describes the trauma inflicted by the transfer of the historic Hungarian heartland of Transylvania to Romania under the terms of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920--a trauma that the passing of years has by no means lessened. The horrors of Nazi and Soviet Communist domination were no less appalling as Lendvai's restrained account makes clear but are now part of history.
Submit your review
Be one of the first to review the The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat.
If you purchased this product with a shop account, please login before reviewing the product.