Mar 13, 2013

Book Review: PRAGUE WINTER by Madeleine Albright

"On the evening of November 5, my mother, Kathy, John, and I made our way to Southampton, where we boarded the SS America and crossed the Channel to France, where we spent the night. The next morning, after breakfast, we resumed our journey westward, chasing the sun. Greeted by the Statue of Liberty, we arrived in New York harbor shortly after 10 a.m.; it was, fittingly enough, Armistice Day. Shortly before Christmas, my father joined us, crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary." (p. 408)
My comments: Madeleine Albright was a child when the events she describes took place. She includes her memories of her years as the daughter of a Czech diplomat, who eventually sought asylum in the U.S., arriving here in 1948. Much of the book is heavily researched history of Czechoslovakia during WWII, a book she started after finding her mother's essay and her father's papers and unpublished novel about Czechoslovakia.  She also researched to know more about Czechoslovakia, after discovering her family's Jewish roots. I hope to also read someday Albright's memoir as the adult stateswoman, Madame Secretary.

Publisher's description: "Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, the Battle of Britain, the near-total destruction of European Jewry, the Allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. Drawing on her memory, her parents’ written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly available documents, Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring.

In Prague Winter, Albright reflects on her discovery of her family’s Jewish heritage many decades after the war, on her Czech homeland’s tangled history, and on the stark moral choices faced by her parents and their generation. At once a deeply personal memoir and an incisive work of history, Prague Winter serves as a guide to the future through the lessons of the past—as seen through the eyes of one of the international community’s most respected and fascinating figures."

Title:Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War (1937-1948)
Author: Madeleine Albright
Publisher: Harper Perennial; February 19, 2013

See other reviews at TLC Book Tours, which provided a review copy of the book.

Madeleine Albright served as America’s sixty-fourth secretary of state from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career also includes positions on Capitol Hill, on the National Security Council, and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Virginia.


  1. A few years ago I heard an interview with Albright where during which talked about the events described in this book. A truly amazing story. I find it so interesting that she only discovered her Jewish roots years after the war.

  2. I really enjoyed Madame Secretary as well as a couple of Albright's other books. I really admire her!

  3. I vaguely remember Madame Albright's story while she was in office. I would love to read her autobiography.

  4. I have heard that this is an amazing book, and one that gives a whole new understanding to the events of WWII. It sounds like one that I would really enjoy listening to, so I am going to have to see if I can grab a copy. Nice review today!

  5. This sounds fascinating. I'm sure it's harrowing,interesting, informative, and worthwhile. Very nice job, Harvee.

  6. Prague Winter sounds like a really interesting book!

  7. I always admired this woman. This is for me.

  8. I don't really know much about her but this might be a book to read.

  9. Thanks for being on the tour.

  10. This sounds fascinating. I know so little about Albright, so I'm putting this on my to-read list.

  11. I definitely recommend Madame Secretary - I found her life story fascinating! Thanks for linking up to the Immigrant Stories Challenge!


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