Suggested Reading List
Between the Woods and the Water
Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor
Description: Fermor continues with youthful adventures in Hungary and Romania, culminating with his arrival at the Iron Gates on the Danube.
Author: John Lukacs
Description: Written by a distinguished historian and native son, this richly detailed portrait of the city at its zenith includes hundreds of illustrations.
Bury Me Standing
Author: Isabel Fonseca
Description: This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions, and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe.
Cadogan Guide Vienna, Prague and Budapest
Author: Cadogan Guide
Description: Three authors teemed up for this in-depth cultural guide to the history, architecture, artistic heritage and sights of these three capital cities.
Eyewitness Guide Poland
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: An informative, visual guide to the history, culture and attractions of Poland.
Heart of Europe, The Past in Poland's Present
Author: Norman Davies
Description: A history of Poland in reverse chronology from the Solidarity Movement to early civilization, condensed from the author's definitive three-volume history.
Hitler and the Holocaust
Author: Robert S. Wistrich
Description: A short history of the cultural and political circumstances surrounding the genocide of the Jews. Wistrich looks closely at Anti-Semitism in Germany, Europe and abroad in an attempt to understand the evil unleashed during World War II.
I Served the King of England
Author: Bohumil Hrabal
Description: A rollicking trip through the history of 20th century Czechoslovakia, Hrabal's comic masterpiece follows the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism,
Kingdom of Auschwitz
Author: Otto Friedrich
Description: Otto Friedrich's slim book is an intensely personal account of the infamous Auschwitz death camp. He covers the entire history of Auschwitz in short chapters punctuated with eyewitness accounts and testimonies.
Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990
Author: Vaclav Havel, Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This inspired anthology of writings by the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel collects 25 essays, letters and speeches written between 1965 and 1990, including those that directly influenced the Polish Solidarity movement.
Author: James Michener
Description: In his epic style, Michener presents the sweep of Polish history from the earliest days to 1983 in this massively researched novel. An excellent choice for the airplane.
Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City
Author: Peter Demetz
Description: Both a history and accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history history, spirit and people to life and includes a helpful map for the traveler.
Resistance, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Author: Israel Gutman
Description: An account of the Warsaw ghetto under Nazi control, gleaned from the author's first-hand experience. He also places the ghetto experience in the context of Jewish history in general.
The Complete Stories
Author: Franz Kafka
Description: All of Kafka's stories, including The Metamorphosis, A Hunger Artist, and In The Penal Colony.
The Czech Reader, History, Culture, Politics
Author: Jan Bazant (Editor)
Description: A fascinating survey of Czech history, culture and politics, part of the World Readers series, and composed of the writings and impressions of luminaries, leaders and ordinary Czechs. Among the highlights are Joan of Arc’s letter to the Hussites, the composer Antonin Dvorak’s letter from the New World and literary selections from Kafka, Kundera and Vaclav Havel.
The Essential Guide to Being Hungarian, 50 Facts and Facets of Nationhood
Author: Ist Bori (Editor)
Description: Twelve authors well-versed in the manners and mindset of the Hungarians offer this illuminating guide to national character.
The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire
Author: Andrew Wheatcroft
Description: The Habsburgs ruled over more diverse peoples and cultures than any other European dynasty since the Roman period. With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.
The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague
Author: Timothy Garton Ash
Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.
The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe
Author: Dennis Hupchick, Harold Cox
Description: The changing borders and complex history of Eastern Europe as told through 52 maps and accompanying essays, organized chronologically. An excellent reference, the book shows the rise of Poland, changing borders of the Ottoman Empire, Hapsburgs and fate of Yugoslavia in admirable clarity.
The Spies of Warsaw
Author: Alan Furst
Description: Alan Furst sets his richly atmospheric tale of espionage and love squarely amidst the leafy boulevards, grand squares, stately mansions and elegant cafes of the glittering 1937 capital. With a map on the inside covers, this isn't just a gripping novel, Furst's 10th WW II-era thriller, it's a guide to Warsaw of today.
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
Author: Tadeusz Borowski, Barbara Vedder (Translator), Jan Kott (Introduction)
Description: A series of uninflected, austere stories, published in Polish after WWII -- and drawn from the author's experiences in Auschwitz and Dachau from 1943 to 1945.