Journey to a Revolution: A Personal Memoir and History of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was not just an extraordinary and dramatic event--pehaps the most dramatic single event of the Cold War--but, as we can now see fifty years later, a hugely significant turning point in history. The spontaneous rising of Hungarian people against the Hungarian Communist Party and the Soviet forces in Hungary in the wake of Stalin's death, while it ultimately failed, demonstrated to the world at large the failure of Communism. The Russians were obliged to use force on a vast scale against armed students, factory workers, and intellectuals in the streets of a major European city to preserve the Hungarian Communist Party in power. For two weeks teenagers fought tanks in the streets of Budapest, in full view of the Western media, and therefore the world, and for a time they actually won, deeply humiliating the men who succeeded Stalin. The Russians eventually managed to extinguish the revolution, with brute force and overwhelming numbers, but never again would they attempt to use military force to suppress dissent in the eastern European "empire." JOURNEY TO A REVOLUTION is at once a history and a compelling memoir, the story of four twenty-four year old Oxford undergraduates who took off for Budapest in a beat-up old Volkswagon convertible in October 1956, to bring badly needed medicine to the Budapest hospitals and to participate, at street level, in one of the great, heroic battes of post-war history. Korda paints a vivid and richly detailed picture of the events and the people, explores such major questions as the exent to which the British and the American intelligence services were involved in the uprising and made the Hungarians feel they couldexpect military support from the West, and describes, day by day, the course of the revolution, from its heroic beginnings, to the sad martyrdom of its end.
Author: Michael Korda
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: 2007-08-21