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Budapest by Victor Sebestyen
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Budapest by Victor Sebestyen
Hardcover $35.00
Sep 05, 2023 | ISBN 9780593317563

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  • Sep 05, 2023 | ISBN 9780593786178

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A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF FALL 2023 from Kirkus Reviews

“A fascinating chronicle of Hungary’s storied capital. . . . Filled with fun footnotes and wry asides. . . . After reading [Budapest] you’ll want . . . to see for yourself the city that Sebestyen so lovingly brings to life.”
The Washington Independent Review of Books

“A sweeping and insightful chronicle. . . . Sebestyen vividly describes the invasions, revolutions, wars, and catastrophes . . . that shaped Budapest as he profiles its notable rulers and citizens. . . . A comprehensive account of one of Europe’s great cities.”
Publishers Weekly

“[Sebestyen’s] love for the city emerges clearly in this engaging chronological account…A beautifully wrought, admiring portrait of a beloved, beleaguered city and its people.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This book is a delight. Elegant writing, urbane knowledge, scholarly depth, and a beautifully sketched cast of warlords, writers and empresses, communists and kings. Not just a superb portrait of Budapest but a history of 2,000 years of Central Europe.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The World

“A compelling portrait of one of the most important cities in Europe. Full of sharp insights, elegant writing and vivid characters, it is a magisterial work spanning 2,000 years from the Romans to the present day.” —Andrew Roberts, author of The Chief

“Magnificent. . . . full of fascinating insights from an author with this city in his blood. Colourful detail and anecdote make it an exciting and often very entertaining read. . . It’s vivid, engaging and page-turning.” —Victoria Hislop, author of Maria’s Island
“The most accessible and authoritative history of the city in a generation.” Times Literary Supplement (UK)
“Incisive . . . Sebestyen writes of his home city with deep knowledge and unabashed affection. . . . Read Sebestyen on Budapest and all you’ll want is to read it again.” Financial Times (UK)
“Forever caught between East and West, the capital of Hungary encapsulates the drama of central Europe in its wonders and horrors. . . . [Sebestyen] excels in describing Budapest’s Habsburg heyday, the historical role of its Jewish population and the hubris and humiliations that have helped shape the city.” The Economist (UK)

“Full of fascinating facts. . . . The narrative swings back and forth between the broad sweep of Hungary’s past and the almost tangible sense of the city. . . . For anyone seeking background on Hungary’s recent history, this is an excellent place to start.” New Statesman (UK)

“Highly readable. . . . a complex subject, but Sebestyen has written about it before, and his hand is very sure.” The Spectator (UK)

“Not only a rich portrait of a city but also a masterful survey of central European history.” BBC History Magazine (UK)

Table Of Contents

Map x
Introduction 1
Prologue 6

Part One: The Magyars
1 Aquincum 17
2 The Magyars 23
3 The Khans Invade 38
4 The Raven King 42
5 The Empire Strikes Back 57
6 Budun – A Turkish Town 64
7 Division of the Spoils 72
8 Buda Regained 78

Part Two: The Habsburgs
9 The Baroque – Gloom and Glory 89
10 Language, Truth and Logic 105
11 The Bridge Builder 116
12 The Great Flood 125
13 The Ides of March 134
14 The Revolutionary War 148
15 A Revenge Tragedy 159
16 Judapest 165
17 Empress Sisi 174
18 The Dual Monarchy – Victory in Defeat 184
19 Budapest Is Born 196
20 Café Culture 206
21 The Hungarian Pogroms 215
22 Illiberal Democracy 223
23 My Country Right or Wrong 230
Part Three: The World at War
24 The Beginning of the End 239
25 Lenin’s Pupil 250
26 The Admiral Without a Navy 258
27 Marching in Step with Hitler 272
28 Madness Visible 281
29 The Siege of Budapest 292
30 Liberation 309
31 The Iron Curtain Descends 320
32 The House of Terror 331
33 Revolution – Again 340
34 Betrayal in Moscow 353
35 The Merriest Barracks in the Camp 358
36 The Last Rites 368

Conclusion 374
Notes 379
Bibliography 389
Acknowledgements 393
List of Illustrations 395
Index 397

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