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The Hungarian Revolution of was perhaps the most dramatic single event of the Cold War and a major turning point in history. Though it ended unsuccessfully, the spontaneous uprising of Hungarians against their country's Communist party and the Soviet occupation forces in the wake of Stalin's death demonstrated to the world at large the failure of Communism. In full view of the Western media—and therefore the world—the Russians were obliged to use force on a vast scale to subdue armed students, factory workers, and intellectuals in the streets of a major European capital.

In October , Michael Korda and three fellow Oxford undergraduates traveled to Budapest in a beat-up Volkswagen to bring badly needed medicine to the hospitals—and to participate, at street level, in one of the great battles of the postwar era. Journey to a Revolution is at once history and a compelling memoir—the author's riveting account of the course of the revolution, from its heroic beginnings to the sad martyrdom of its end.

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International Customers If you are located outside the U. About Product Details The Hungarian Revolution of was perhaps the most dramatic single event of the Cold War and a major turning point in history.

The 1956 Hungarian Revolution by the BBC

Harper Perennial On Sale: Play by Play by Verne Lundquist. View Full Version of PW. Journey to a Revolution: More By and About This Author.

Journey to a revolution : a personal memoir and history of the Hungarian Revolution of

Discover what to read next. For two weeks, students, women, and teenagers fought tanks in the streets of Budapest, in full view of the Western media--and therefore the world--and for a time they actually won, deeply humiliating the men who succeeded Stalin. The Russians eventually managed to extinguish the revolution with brute force and overwhelming numbers, but never again would they attempt to use military force on a large scale to suppress dissent in their Eastern European empire.


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Told with brilliant detail, suspense, occasional humor, and sustained anger, Journey to a Revolution is at once history and a compelling memoir--the amazing story of four young Oxford undergraduates, including the author, who took off for Budapest in a beat-up old Volkswagen convertible in October to bring badly needed medicine to Budapest hospitals and to participate, at street level, in one of the great battles of postwar history. Michael Korda paints a vivid and richly detailed picture of the events and the people; explores such major issues as the extent to which the British and American intelligence services were involved in the uprising, making the Hungarians feel they could expect military support from the West; and describes, day by day, the course of the revolution, from its heroic beginnings to the sad martyrdom of its end.

by Korda, Michael

Journey to a Revolution delivers "a harrowing and horrifying tale told in spare and poignant prose--sometimes bitter, sometimes ironic, always powerful. Michael Korda was born on October 8, in London, England. He is also the author of numerous books including Hero: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, and Cat People, co-authored with his wife Margaret.

In Budapest was the site of a day revolution that marked the beginning of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe. Part history lesson, part personal memoir, Journey to a Revolution is perhaps more successful as the latter, providing Korda's perspective as one of four Oxford students who traveled to Hungary in the wake of the conflict to deliver desperately needed medical supplies. The book begins with a condensed version of the country's tumultuous history, including a portrait of popular prime minister Imre Nagy, who ultimately broke with the Communist Party, led the Hungarian Revolution, and sealed his doom by withdrawing Hungary from the Warsaw Pact.

Hungarians have long been revered for their charisma and charm, qualities Korda displays in this compelling account. In October the Hungarian people spontaneously rose up against an oppressive Soviet-imposed Communist regime and basked briefly in the light of freedom.

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In this history lesson-cum- memoir, Korda Another Life stitches an appealing retelling of his journey of discovery into the larger context of the desperate, short-lived Hungarian revolt. Part hard-nosed history lesson, part affectionate celebration of Hungary and Hungarian culture, and part sepia-tinged memoir, the book attempts to pull back the veil on the post-WWII machinations of the victorious Allies and expose how such diplomatic wheeling and dealing can devastate an entire nation.

The first two-thirds are strong, with both a comprehensive overview of the postwar geopolitical scene and a finely tuned take on the specifics of the Hungarian situation. Korda's account of his own journey there during the revolution at age 24 is strangely flat. Along the way from the pastoral comfort of his native England to the rubble and corpse-strewn streets of Budapest, he has some near misses with life-threatening danger.

Journey to a Revolution

At the border between Austria and Hungary, Korda and his mates encounter a machine gun-toting guard who offers them barack, homemade peach brandy, and a warning about the invading Russians: Korda's lively personal account is complemented by Gati's more academic title. Using hundreds of documents in the archives in Budapest, Moscow, and Washington, he has written a thorough and scholarly analysis of the revolution. An expert in Soviet and Eastern European politics, Gati seeks answers to such questions as why the Soviets changed course and decided to intervene in Hungary after initially pulling out, what effect the attitude of the United States had on the outcome of the revolution, and what role other world events played in forcing Hungary to be a lower priority to the West.

Both authors have written honest, unromanticized accounts of those tragic days.