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Prague Winter Audiobook

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948

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Publisher's Summary

Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia - the country where she was born - 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.

Albright's experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. 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. Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind and, simultaneously, a journey with universal lessons that is intensely personal.

The book takes readers from the Bohemian capital's thousand-year-old castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of TerezÍn to the highest councils of European and American government. 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. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exiled leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are nevertheless shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong.

"No one who lived through the years of 1937 to 1948," Albright writes, "was a stranger to profound sadness. Millions of innocents did not survive, and their deaths must never be forgotten. Today we lack the power to reclaim lost lives, but we have a duty to learn all that we can about what happened and why." 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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Madeleine Albright (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

“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)

“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 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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (212 )
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3.9 (175 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Go Steelers 04-19-17
    Go Steelers 04-19-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Epic story of Prague, war and life"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Important history, made real for today by a writer who both lived it and studied it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It brought to life Holocaust victims, who we too often reduce to statistics. It also reveals the devastating personal choices that determined life and death, made by people who had little conception of the danger they were in.


    Have you listened to any of Madeleine Albright’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to Madame Secretary. They are both excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book because my husband and I are preparing for a trip to Prague, and I wasn't happy with the books that the tour company recommended. I chose this only because it was about Prague, but got so much more out of it that I proceeded to listen to her wider autobiography, Madame Secretary. Prague Winter is a personal reminiscence of war -- hot and cold -- by someone who was a child trapped in it, an historian who studied it, and a diplomat who worked to mend the wounds. It is especially important for its documentation of what happened to one family in the Holocaust. It is compelling both as history and personal narrative. I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of World War II or the Holocaust.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Noah 03-15-17
    Noah 03-15-17
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    "Simply Beautiful"

    This is Secretary Albright's best work. Do yourself the favor of listening to this amazing work of literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Sullivan 12-16-16
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    "The best"

    This was the best audible book ever! Albright shared her own personal history and combined researched history and personal reflections as Secretary of State. Wow! It couldn't have been better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cowtown girl 09-23-15
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    "I have a new respect for Madeline Albright!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Bought this book after my first visit to Prague. After my visit I became interested in all things Prague. I am so glad that I read this book. I probably would have never read it had I not gotten interested in the history of Prague. What a mistake! It was a very good book and I have read it again...one of those books that you will want to read at least twice!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    martha 07-26-15
    martha 07-26-15 Member Since 2009
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    "The hard won freedom of the Czech people"

    I enjoyed Prague Winter very much. Madeleine Albright has an altogether unique perspective on the history of Czechoslovakia from WWII as a child emigre of an activist father and later an accomplished scholar and elite diplomat. Her family history gave names and faces to victims of the Holocaust. I have recommended the book to people who have an interest in WWII history especially highlighting the Czech dimension. The book helped me form a new understanding of the brave Czech people who suffered under the Nazis then the Communists and now display a love for freedom like no one else

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. 07-30-13
    M. 07-30-13
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    "Admiration for author, not the production"
    What disappointed you about Prague Winter?

    Regret to say: monotone of author


    Has Prague Winter turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Few new insights into life and career of author


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Madeleine Albright?

    Until this title, I've been pleased with all narrators


    What character would you cut from Prague Winter?

    No need to cut characters; more depth needed


    Any additional comments?

    Madeleine Albright has my admiration for her life, her service to the public good and her fellowman; the book's production (including sound quality) did not do justice to the career of this remarkable leader.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maida smith Sandy Ut 11-04-12
    maida smith Sandy Ut 11-04-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Great HIstory- Great Writing"
    Where does Prague Winter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is one that I would listen to again because there is so much history of what was happening in the "world of others" when I was just a child.


    What other book might you compare Prague Winter to and why?

    Wild Swans, Mao


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Madeleine Albright?

    yes but she is not my favorite narrator. I have good experience with her in my adult life so I knew what the voice and inflections would be.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was surprised at how little I had learned in my life about that time in Europe, Especially Chekhovslavia and how difficult that word is to say. I can see why many now have the option to say Chek Republic.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace 08-27-12
    Grace 08-27-12
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    "Comprehensive, Personal Acccount"

    Delighted to discover Secretary Albright narrated the book she authored. Interesting, detailed account of the period, the politics, that part of Europe. Her personal experiences, observations, connections added a richness that provided a nice break from facts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Catlett, VA, United States 07-10-12
    Brian Catlett, VA, United States 07-10-12
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    "Prague Winter - Heart and History"
    Would you listen to Prague Winter again? Why?

    This was my first "read" of Ms. Albright and though concerned I'd be bored to tears with useless fact and monotone drone, I was happy that my fear was unwarranted. Her voice, description, and timber drew me in to the book and I felt like I was right there experiencing both her life growing up during WWII but I also learned so much more about the Country and Land of my ancestry.


    What other book might you compare Prague Winter to and why?

    I'm tempted to compare this to a book by President Clinton but I fear that would be cliche. I would definately compare this to "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson who captured a turbulent time so vivedly and movingly.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    She she spoke of and read from her fathers notes and unfinished manuscript for a book of fiction about the war.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy MIDLAND, TX, United States 07-09-12
    Joy MIDLAND, TX, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Praque Winter"
    Would you listen to Prague Winter again? Why?

    In particular I would like to listen to Praque Winter again to here Madeleine Albright set up the Chekoslavakian position in Europe at the beginning of WWII and England's role in the downfall of the Eastern European countries. I found the politics and attempts at mingling the cultures very interesting.


    What does Madeleine Albright bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved listening to Madeleine Albright read her story. She has had an incredible life of influence in the USA. It was nice to hear the "back story".


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the historical perspective that Mrs. Albright brings to WWII.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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