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The Spirit of Hungary : A Panorama of…

The Spirit of Hungary : A Panorama of Hungarian History and Culture (Third…

by Stephen Sisa

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If you want to know anything at all about Hungary’s history, "The Spirit of Hungary" is the book for you. Starting with the year 670 AD, the Magyars were recorded to have arrived at the base of the Carpathian Mountains, making it their permanent home.

Tracing the Magyar’s history in culture, size, and power, the book describes every struggle, with a total that far outnumbers the battles and opponents of most other nations. They competed with Genghis Khan and the Mongols, The Ottoman Empire and the Turks, the Habsburg Empire, Napoleon, The Romanians, the Germans, and the Russians. At times the content of the book was overwhelming.

The Magyar’s struggles included The Plague which wiped out one-third of their population, the Crusades, an earthquake and devastating fires. They spent decades as slaves to the Turks, battled genocide by the Romanians, and were embroiled in World War I and II. During Would War II - occupied by Nazi troops - they never gave up trying to outwit Hitler with the hopes of maintaining their independence if the war ever ended. And all this was to ultimately end in becoming a communist satellite of the USSR. The Magyars are however, a strong and resilient people. A revolution in 1989 freed them and it is a miracle that throughout history they kept their own cultural identity and today still have a country to call their own.

Stephen Sisa was born in Budapest in 1918 and after emigrating to the United States in 1951, he became an advocate for his countrymen stranded behind the Iron Curtain. He wrote editorials for the New York Times and other International papers, and wrote the first printing of "The Spirit of Hungary" in 1983. Expanded and updated, the current third edition concludes in 1990 when Hungary had their first freely-elected government.

"The Spirit of Hungary" includes hundreds of photos, stories of the country’s famous people, and short chapters on their architecture and language, music and the arts. The only thing lacking is human interest stories... anecdotes which could relieve the monotony of a thousand years of dry historical facts. As a historical reference, the book is excellent. But preparing for a first-time visit to Hungary and seeking insight into the current lifestyle and “spirit” of the people, my search must continue. ( )
  LadyLo | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0962842222, Hardcover)

The Spirit of Hungary: A Panorama of Hungarian History and Culture includes these events that molded the nation's soul:

The arrival into the Carpathian Basin...the conversion to Christianity...the glory years of wealth and power...the Mongol invasion...the tragic battle of Mohacs, followed by 150 years of Turkish rule...the struggle and compromise with the Hapsburgs...wars of liberation led by Rakoczi and Kossuth...Hungary's dismemberment at Trianon in 1920...the Horthy era...Communist rule..."glory in defeat"--the Revolution of 1956...the struggle for survival of Hungarian ethnics in neighboring states..."glory in victory"--the bloodless revolution of 1989...a "nation without boundaries."

This book also provides witness to history through colorful biographies, including:

-Saint Stephen, who Christianized a nation of pagan warriors -Janos Hunyadi, the Defender of Christendom -Matthias, the Renaissance King -Ferenc Rakoczi, who held Europe's largest empire at bay with his ragtag army for eight years -Louis Kossuth, who was compared to Moses and Washington during his triumphant tour of America in 1851 -Queen Elizabeth, who became Hungary's "Guardian Angel" during her bittersweet life. -Cardinal Mindszenty, who defied Communist rule -and many others.

The Spirit of Hungary also provides a panorama of Hungarian culture, including its language, music, art, and literature.

Chapters on the "Hungarian Genius" and "A Nation of Champions" cover world-class achievements science, medicine, mathematics, and sports.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)

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