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Prague Winter: A Personal Story of…

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Madeleine Albright

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5882126,826 (4.12)42
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.
Title:Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948
Authors:Madeleine Albright
Info:Harper (2012), Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:memoir, history WWII

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Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright (2012)



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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I borrowed this book from the library after my father recommended it to me. The book was heartbreaking, uplifting, maddening and a loving legacy to the fight that people have in them to overcome evil tyrany.
Mrs. Albright is a wonderful writer who you can tell loving researched this book to the full extent of her brilliant mind's capacity and then delved into historical records of family and compadres who lived in her birth country.

This book was deep, full of detail and took me while to read because I wanted to soak in all the spirits of those who lived in this book.

I didn't know much about the history of Czechoslovakia until reading this book. I knew they were entrenched in the nazis takeover but was unaware as to how many citizens lost their lives in the war.

I highly recommend this book. If you admired Mrs. Albright when she was Secretary of State you will become even more enamored with her learning of her early childhood and the smarts that she shows in this writing. ( )
  SandraBrower | Oct 27, 2019 |
This is the third book I've read by Albright, and it does not disappoint. I have already read her autobiography (Madam Secretary) and her latest, Fascism. This book centers on Albright's earliest years, from the year she was born, 1937, until 1948. She was born in Prague, Cz, at the outset of WWII. Her father was press attache representing the Czech government in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. After the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the family (secretly Jewish) fled to London, where Madeleine spent many of her childhood years. After the war, the family moved back to Czechoslovakia, and soon after to Belgrade, as Madeleine's father, Josef Korbel, was appointed ambassador in Belgrade. With the Communist takeover of his country, however, Korbel asked for a received a position as a delegate to the United Nations, and eventually moved the family to the United States, asking for asylum, as his democratic leanings made it difficult and dangerous to move back to Czechoslovakia. The story of the Korbel family, however, is only a small part of the book. Much of the bulk of the story consists of a diplomatic history of Czechoslovakia during the years 1937-1948, with emphasis on leaders such as President Edvard Benes, trying to keep his country intact, and Jan Masaryk, diplomat and politician and son of T.G. Masaryk, the founder of modern day Czechoslovakia.

This book is an important addition to the WWII canon of literature. It is unusual to find, at this time, an eyewitness to these times, even as young as she was, who also has the perspective of having served herself as Secretary of State. I took my time reading this book - it was meaty - and it provided a window into a time I hope will never be repeated. ( )
  peggybr | Oct 21, 2019 |
I found this book fascinating. While telling of her childhood in and out of Czechoslovakia during WWII, Madeleine Albright also gives a history of Czechoslovakia as well as the politics that were occurring during the war. This is the first time I have been given a political history of what is happening in eastern Europe. She explains it very well. I could understand her. I liked how she explained the questions that arose from the politics and answered the question with what happened and what would have made the decisions better. Sometimes she just explained why they did what they did. I liked the humor that popped up from time to time as she explained what was going on or as she spoke of the personalities involved. I liked the personal details from her childhood, growing up after 1948, and finding her family's story. Well done and worth the read. Her writing reads like a novel. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Mar 27, 2019 |
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright learned details about her Jewish heritage shortly after her appointment. Albright was born in Czechoslovakia, but spent the war years in England. Her father, Josef Korbel, was a diplomat. He spent the war years with the Czech government in exile preparing and giving daily broadcasts on BBC radio. Albright’s parents were secular Jews who celebrated Christmas, etc. Some time after their arrival in England, the Korbel family converted to Catholicism, and Albright was raised in the Catholic faith. In this memoir about her childhood, Albright explores her Jewish heritage and the fate of her relatives who died in the Holocaust, including three of her four grandparents. (The fourth grandparent died before the extermination of Czechoslovakia’s Jews began.)

Given Albright’s lifetime involvement in diplomacy, it’s perhaps not surprising that this book focuses as much on Czechoslovakia’s political and diplomatic history during the period covered in the book (1937-1948). I am not as interested in politics, diplomacy, and foreign relations as the author is, so those portions of the book dragged a bit for me.

I listened to the audio version narrated by the author. I discovered that Albright is a better writer than she is a narrator. She paused in the wrong places often enough that it’s noticeable. Listeners who are willing to overlook this minor flaw will be rewarded with a listening experience that’s like having a personal conversation with the author. ( )
  cbl_tn | Oct 28, 2018 |
Great book by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright! This book tells the story of her childhood and family during the 1930s and 1940s in Czechoslovakia (and later England). The book spends more time telling the story of the Czech people and how World War II impacted them. I learned a great deal as most of what I had read about World War II focused on the West and Russia. Albright's father was a connected official in the government during the war years, and this gives the reader an inside look at the government in exile in London. Albright writes very well as she is an historian first, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Albright, Madeleineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woodward, BillAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

How long since I last saw
The sun sink low behind Petrin Hill?
With tearful eyes I gazed at you, Prague,
Enveloped in your evening shadows.
How long since I last heard the pleasant rush of water
Over the weir in the Vltava river?
I have long since forgotten the bustling life of Wenceslas Square.
Those unknown corners in the Old Town,
Those shady nooks and sleepy canals,
How are they? They cannot be grieving for me
As I do for them . . .
Prague, you fairy tale in stone, how well I remember!

Petr Ginz (1928-1944)
To those who did not survive but taught us how to live - and why
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I was fifty-nine when I began serving as U.S. secretary of state.
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