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 1920a 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.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Foreword to the English Edition page xiIntroduction 11."Heathen Barbarians" overrun Europe: Evidence from St Gallen 72.Land Acquisition or Conquest? The Question of Hungarian Identity 123.From Magyar Mayhem to the Christian Kingdom of the rp ds 274.The Struggle for Continuity and Freedom 385.The Mongol Invasion of 1241 and its Consequences 496.Hungary's Rise to Great Power Status under Foreign Kings 627.The Heroic Age of the Hunyadis and the Turkish Danger 758.The Long Road to the Catastrophe of Moh cs 869.The Disaster of Ottoman Rule 9410.Transylvania-the Stronghold of Hungarian Sovereignty 10611.G bor Bethlen-Vassal, Patriot and European 11412.Zrinyi or Zrinski? One Hero for Two Nations 12613.The Kuruc Leader Th k ly: Adventurer or Traitor? 13714.Ferenc R k czi's Fight for Freedom from the Habsburgs 14515.Myth and Historiography: an Idol through the Ages 15516.Hungary in the Habsburg Shadow 16017.The Fight Against the "Hatted King" 17718.Abbot Martinovics and the Jacobin Plot 18319.Count Istv n Sz chenyi and the "Reform Era": the "Greatest Hungarian" 19120.Lajos Kossuth and S ndor Pet fi: Symbols of 1848 20621.Victories, Defeat and Collapse: the Lost War of Independence, 1849 22222.Kossuth the Hero versus "Judas" G rgey: "Good" and "Bad" in Sacrificial Mythology 24223.Who was Captain Gusev? Russian "Freedom Fighters" between Minsk and Budapest 26024.Elisabeth, Andr ssy and Bismarck: Austria and Hungary on the Road to Reconciliation 26625.Victory in Defeat: the Compromise and the Consequences of Dualism 28126.Total Blindness: The Hungarian Sense of Mission and the Nationalities 29927.The "Golden Age" of the Millennium: Modernization with Drawbacks 31028."Magyar Jew or Jewish Magyars" A Unique Symbiosis 32929."Will Hungary be German or Magyars" The Germans' Peculiar Role 34830.From the Great War to the "Dictatorship of Despair": the Red Count and Lenin's Agent 35631.The Admiral on a White Horse: Trianon and the Death Knell of St Stephen's Realm 37332.Adventurers, Counterfeiters, Claimants to the Throne: Hungary as Troublemaker in the Danube Basin 38933.Marching in Step with Hitler: Triumph and Fall. From the Persecution of Jews to Mob Rule 40634.Victory in Defeat: 1945-1990 42735."Everyone is a Hungarian": Geniuses and Artists 466Summing-up 504Notes 508Chronology of Significant Events in Hungarian History 533Index 557
What People are Saying About This
This brief narrative of Hungarian history, elegantly translated into English, is written with verve, humor, profound insights, and just the right degree of cynicism. It well explains the dilemma of a respectable old state squeezed between more powerful neighbors, the contradictions between individual genius and repeated national failure, and the recurring tragic conflicts between the defense of nationhood and messianic nationalism. It is supplemented with fascinating essays on, for instance, the complexities of Jewish and German assimilation into the Hungarian nation.
Istvan Deak, Columbia University
"This brief narrative of Hungarian history, elegantly translated into English, is written with verve, humor, profound insights, and just the right degree of cynicism. It well explains the dilemma of a respectable old state squeezed between more powerful neighbors, the contradictions between individual genius and repeated national failure, and the recurring tragic conflicts between the defense of nationhood and messianic nationalism. It is supplemented with fascinating essays on, for instance, the complexities of Jewish and German assimilation into the Hungarian nation."István Deák, Columbia University
Lendvai has written a standard-setting work, always at the highest level of historical research yet so eminently readable, so entertainingonly a journalist out of passion with profound knowledge of history is able to write in this way. . . . Lendvai's presentation of the thousand years of Hungarian history in Europe is not only comprehensive, it is also just.
When Paul Lendvai, the indefatigable observer of Eastern Europe, writes a book, he has in general something exciting to relate. . . . Lendvai's book is a well-constructed mixture of historical facts, political judgments, and cultural anecdotes.