From former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright comes a moving and thoughtful memoir of her formative years in Czechoslovakia during the tumult of Nazi occupation, World War II, fascism, and the onset of the Cold War. An intensely personal journey into the past that offers vital lessons for the future, Prague Winter combines the intimacy of an autobiography with the drama of an exciting and well-told story - all underpinned by the gravity and intelligence of a serious work of history. The result is a highly readable and incisive work filled with tragedy and triumph, a resonant narrative informed by Albright's remarkable life experience and her characteristic candor in speaking hard truths.
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"Albright relies not only on her own memories but on primary sources, interviews, and recently released documents to tell a story that ranges from the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp to the war councils of Hitler and the Allied leaders to London's bomb shelters and finally her late discovery of her Jewish heritage." - Library Journal
"Although much is conventional history, the unconventional - the personal - animates and brightens the narrative." - Kirkus Reviews
"I was totally blown away by this book. It is a breathtaking combination of the historical and the personal. Albright confronts the brutal realities of the Holocaust and the conflicted moral choices it led to. An unforgettable tale of fascism and communism, courage and realism, families and heartache and love." - Walter Isaacson
"A remarkable story of adventure and passion, tragedy and courage set against the backdrop of occupied Czechoslovakia and World War II. Albright provides fresh insights into the events that shaped her career and challenges us to think deeply about the moral dilemmas that arise in our own lives." - Vaclav Havel
"A genuinely admirable book. Albright skillfully returns us to some of the darkest years of modern times. Spring eventually came to Prague, but in much of the world it is still winter. The love of democracy fills every one of these instructive and stirring pages." - Leon Wieseltier
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Madeleine Korbel was born on May 15, 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her father, Josef
Korbel, was a member of the Czech diplomatic service who worked in Belgrade,
London, and Prague before he fled with his family after a Communist
coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948. The family were granted political asylum in the United
States, and Josef began working at the University of Denver, where he later founded a graduate school of international relations.
She became a naturalized U.S. citizen and learned to speak English without an accent by the time she graduated high school. She is also fluent in Czech, French, Polish, and Russian. She married her husband, Joseph Albright, in 1959 (they divorced in 1982).
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