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

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

by Madeleine Albright

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | November 7, 2013 | Hardcover

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Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia-the country where she was born-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.

Albright''s experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. 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. Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind and, simultaneously, a journey with universal lessons that is intensely personal.

The book takes readers from the Bohemian capital''s thousand-year-old castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of Terezín to the highest councils of European and American government. 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. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exiled leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are nevertheless shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong.

"No one who lived through the years of 1937 to 1948," Albright writes, "was a stranger to profound sadness. Millions of innocents did not survive, and their deaths must never be forgotten. Today we lack the power to reclaim lost lives, but we have a duty to learn all that we can about what happened and why." 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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.61 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062030310

ISBN - 13: 9780062030313

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– More About This Product –

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

by Madeleine Albright

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.61 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062030310

ISBN - 13: 9780062030313

About the Book

Former Secretary of State Albright's account provides a unique lens to view the tumultuous period of her early life from 1937 to 1948, detailing the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, World War II, the Holocaust, fascism, communism, and the Cold War.

From the Publisher

Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia-the country where she was born-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.

Albright''s experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. 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. Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind and, simultaneously, a journey with universal lessons that is intensely personal.

The book takes readers from the Bohemian capital''s thousand-year-old castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of Terezín to the highest councils of European and American government. 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. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exiled leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are nevertheless shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong.

"No one who lived through the years of 1937 to 1948," Albright writes, "was a stranger to profound sadness. Millions of innocents did not survive, and their deaths must never be forgotten. Today we lack the power to reclaim lost lives, but we have a duty to learn all that we can about what happened and why." 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 the Author

Madeleine Korbelová Albright was born May 15, 1937 in the Smíchov district of Prague, Czechoslovakia. She attended Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on a full scholarship, majoring in political science and graduated in 1959. Her senior thesis was written on Czech Communist Zdenek Fierlinger Her PhD is from Columbia University. She holds honorary degrees from Brandeis University; the University of Washington; Smith College; University of Winnipeg; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , and Knox College. Albright worked as an intern for The Denver Post and as a picture editor for Encyclopædia Britannica. She was invited to organize a fund-raising dinner for the 1972 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ed Muskie of Maine.This association with Muskie led to a position as his chief legislative assistant in 1976. However, after the 1976 U.S. presidential election of Jimmy Carter, Albright's former professor Brzezinski was named National Security Advisor, and recruited Albright from Muskie in 1978 to work in the West Wing as the National Security Council¿s congressional liaison. Albright joined the academic staff at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1982, specializing in Eastern European studies. In 1992, Bill Clinton returned the White House to the Democratic Party, and Albright was employed to handle the transition to a new administration at the National Security Council. In January 1993, Clinton nominated her to be U.S. Ambassador to the Uni
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Editorial Reviews

?Prague Winter is not only a family story-a proud and moving one-but a brilliant and multilayered account of how Czechoslovakia was formed along the most idealistic lines in the aftermath of World War I. An altogether fascinating and inspiring read.? (Michael Korda, The Daily Beast)
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