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Hungarians A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat

ISBN-10: 0691119694
ISBN-13: 9780691119694
Edition: 2003
List price: $42.00
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Description: The Hungariansis 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $42.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/8/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 584
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.848
Language: English

The Hungariansis 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, Saacute;ndor 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 Hungariansis 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.

Foreword to the English Edition
"Heathen Barbarians" overrun Europe: Evidence from St Gallen
Land Acquisition or Conquest? The Question of Hungarian Identity
From Magyar Mayhem to the Christian Kingdom of the Arpads
The Struggle for Continuity and Freedom
The Mongol Invasion of 1241 and its Consequences
Hungary's Rise to Great Power Status under Foreign Kings
The Heroic Age of the Hunyadis and the Turkish Danger
The Long Road to the Catastrophe of Mohacs
The Disaster of Ottoman Rule
Transylvania--the Stronghold of Hungarian Sovereignty
Gabor Bethlen--Vassal, Patriot and European
Zrinyi or Zrinski? One Hero for Two Nations
The Kuruc Leader Thokoly: Adventurer or Traitor?
Ferenc Rakoczi's Fight for Freedom from the Habsburgs
Myth and Historiography: an Idol through the Ages
Hungary in the Habsburg Shadow
The Fight Against the "Hatted King"
Abbot Martinovics and the Jacobin Plot
Count Istvan Szechenyi and the "Reform Era": the "Greatest Hungarian"
Lajos Kossuth and Sandor Petofi: Symbols of 1848
Victories, Defeat and Collapse: the Lost War of Independence, 1849
Kossuth the Hero versus "Judas" Gorgey: "Good" and "Bad" in Sacrificial Mythology
Who was Captain Gusev? Russian "Freedom Fighters" between Minsk and Budapest
Elisabeth, Andrassy and Bismarck: Austria and Hungary on the Road to Reconciliation
Victory in Defeat: the Compromise and the Consequences of Dualism
Total Blindness: The Hungarian Sense of Mission and the Nationalities
The "Golden Age" of the Millennium: Modernization with Drawbacks
"Magyar Jew or Jewish Magyar?" A Unique Symbiosis
"Will Hungary be German or Magyar?" The Germans' Peculiar Role
From the Great War to the "Dictatorship of Despair": the Red Count and Lenin's Agent
The Admiral on a White Horse: Trianon and the Death Knell of St Stephen's Realm
Adventurers, Counterfeiters, Claimants to the Throne: Hungary as Troublemaker in the Danube Basin
Marching in Step with Hitler: Triumph and Fall. From the Persecution of Jews to Mob Rule
Victory in Defeat: 1945-1990
"Everyone is a Hungarian": Geniuses and Artists
Chronology of Significant Events in Hungarian History

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