The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat

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Princeton University Press, 8.08.2004 г. - 584 страници

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, Sándor 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 national 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.


An unforgettable blend of eminent readability, vibrant humor, and meticulous scholarship, The Hungarians is a book without taboos or prejudices that at the same time offers an authoritative key to understanding how and why this isolated corner of Europe produced such a galaxy of great scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Потребителски отзив  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

To Paul Lendvai, the besetting sin of Hungarian culture is its "cult of history" and "the nationalistic sense of mission" that has resulted. This might be tolerable except for another unfortunate ... Прочетете пълната рецензия

LibraryThing Review

Потребителски отзив  - aevaughn - LibraryThing

It seems to provide a reasonable overview of Hungarian history. I did get lost in a sea of names however. Also, it is on the long side. Прочетете пълната рецензия

Съдържание

Introduction
1
Evidence from St Gallen
7
Land Acquisition or Conquest? The Question of Hungarian Identity
12
Emperor Franz Joseph crowned King of Hungary 1867
24
Suspect handcuffed by gendarmes 1896
26
From Magyar Mayhem to the Christian Kingdom of the Arpáds
27
Baron Zsigmond Kornfeld
28
Group of Hungarian generals 1913 including the Jewish Baron Sámuel Hazai
29
1919
190
Symbols of 1848
206
the Lost War
222
Good
242
Who was Captain Gusevº Russian Freedom
260
the Compromise and
281
Count Gyula Andrássy
284
Béla Kun addressing workers April 1919
284

Count István Tisza
30
Count Mihály Károlyi renouncing his landed estates February
31
The Struggle for Continuity and Freedom
38
The Mongol Invasion of 1241 and its Consequences
49
Hungarys Rise to Great Power Status under Foreign Kings
62
The Heroic Age of the Hunyadis and the Turkish Danger
75
The Long Road to the Catastrophe of Mohács
86
The Disaster of Ottoman Rule
94
Transylvaniathe Stronghold of Hungarian Sovereignty
106
Gábor BethlenVassal Patriot and European
114
Zrínyi or Zrinski? One Hero for Two Nations
126
Imre Thököly
136
Adventurer or Traitor?
137
Ferenc Rákóczis Fight for Freedom from the Habsburgs
145
an Idol through the Ages
155
Hungary in the Habsburg Shadow
160
The Fight Against the Hatted King
177
Abbot Martinovics and the Jacobin Plot
183
Admiral Horthy entering Budapest at the head of the National Army 16 November 1919
284
Béla Bartók 38 Miklós Radnóti 39 Attila József
284
4043 Ignaz TrebitschLincoln
284
The Czech Italian German and Hungarian Foreign Ministers after the first Vienna Award November 1938
284
Ferenc Szálasi arriving at the Prime Ministers residence Octo ber 1944 after his putsch
284
The Hungarian Sense of Mission
299
Magyar Jew or Jewish Magyar?A Unique Symbiosis
329
Will Hungary be German or Magyar? The Germans
348
Trianon and
373
Adventurers Counterfeiters Claimants to
389
Triumph and Fall
406
19451990
427
Geniuses and Artists
466
Summingup
504
Chronology of Significant Events in Hungarian History
533
Index
557
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Информация за автора (2004)

Paul Lendvai is a leading European journalist and a senior television commentator with ORF, the Austrian public broadcasting corporation. Since 1973 he has been editor in chief and copublisher of the Vienna-based international quarterly Europäische Rundschau. The recipient of numerous prizes for his writings and journalism, he is the author of ten books, including Blacklisted: A Journalist's Life in Central Europe (St. Martin's), Eagles in Cobwebs: Nationalism and Communism in the Balkans, and Anti-Semitism without the Jews: Communist Eastern Europe (both Doubleday).

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