Twelve Days is a riveting day-by-day account of the defining moment of the Cold War—the inspiring but brutally crushed Hungarian Uprising.
Victor Sebestyen, a journalist whose own family fled Hungary, gives us a totally fresh account, incorporating newly released official documents, his family’s diaries, and eyewitness testimony. We witness the thrilling first days when—armed only with a few rifles, petrol bombs, and desperate courage—the people of Budapest rose up against their Soviet masters and nearly succeeded. As the world watched in amazement, it looked as though the Hungarians might humble the Soviet empire. But the Soviets were willing to resort to brutal lengths—and, sadly, the West was prepared to let them. Dramatic, vivid, and authoritative, Twelve Days adds immeasurably to our understanding of this historic event and reminds us of the unquenchable human desire for freedom.
VICTOR SEBESTYEN was born in Budapest. He has worked as a journalist on many British newspapers including The Times, the Daily Mail, and the London Evening Standard, where he was foreign editor and editorial writer. He has also written for many American publications, including The New York Times, and was an… More about Victor Sebestyen
“This is a vivid, heartbreaking account of the brutal crushing of the first armed insurrection against Soviet occupation. Twelve Days is essential reading for understanding the great risks people will take for freedom.”
–Kati Marton, author of The Great Escape: Nine Hungarians Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World
“On the anniversary of 1956, wielding a vast array of newly released archives and completely new eyewitness testimony, Victor Sebestyen has written a magisterial but also totally gripping and fresh account of the noble, violent, and doomed Hungarian revolution: a tale of murder and battles on the streets of Budapest and in the dungeons of the KGB, and of high-level intrigue from the White House to the Kremlin. Above all, it is a story of courage and decency among ordinary Hungarians. The result is a tour de force.”
–Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar