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

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 - Madeleine Albright On completion:

Never was I bored when I listened to this book. Never was I confused by the facts. The balance between historical detail and personal family events was perfect. I enjoyed that the history of Czechoslovakia during the war was thoroughly covered as well as what happened to her family.

I adored learning about Madeleine as a child....she was no angel and what she tells us is often very funny. She got a D minus in geography! OK, that was when she was still very young, so we can forgive this. She throws in humor so often. She poses philosophical questions and analyzes historical events. She doesn't always have all the answers to every question, but then we consider, along with her, the possible alternatives.

I am truly impressed with the historical detail she has taught me and my delight with the learning process. This book shows how learning can be fun. Historical figures, such as Edward Benes(President) and Jan Mazaryk(Foreign Minister) and his father,Thomas Mazaryk(President), and Albright's family, particularly herself and her father, feel like people I know. I know more than just what they did. I have an idea of what makes them who they are.

For me this book was wonderful. It is interesting, instructive, funny and moving. A great book. It is not often that so much detail can be absorbed when you listen to a book. It is amazing. I must give it five stars.

ETA: couple more funny things...... When Madeleine was little she was told to give water to their chickens. She grabbed a milk bottle and filled it with water and gave that to them. Her mother asked hos she expected the chickens to drink from that. She replied that chickens have long necks. And do you know that the V1s used in the Blitz were called "bubble and squeak" or how Albright came to wear a large emerald ring with surrounding inset diamonds to Tito's funeral? The book will tell you.

Thoughts while reading/listening:

This is really, really good. It is much more history about WW2 than memoir. Albright does an excellent job of explaining history. All is very clear and interesting and amusing too since she throws in funny jokes. It is true that the main focuses are European and Czech and British and American. This is understandable.

Here is one example of a joke: Mussolini and Hitler were on the phone. Mussolini was not able to take over Greece and in general was unable to move forward. So he says to Hitler, "This telephone connection is bad. Where are you? In Britain?" You see Hitler hadn't managed to knock out London in the Blitz. So of course, Hitler was NOT in Britain..... I am not saying this as well as Albright does.

She reads her own book and probably because she knows how to speak she does a fine job. I really cannot say I have any complaints. To like this book you have to like non-fiction and history of course. And be interested in reading about World War II. I have listened to almost half.