The Bridge at Andau

The Bridge at AndauAt Four O Clock In The Morning On A Sunday In November , The City Of Budapest Was Awakened By The Shattering Sound Of Russian Tanks Tearing The City Apart The Hungarian Revolution Five Brief, Glorious Days Of Freedom That Had Yielded A Glimpse At A Different Kind Of Future Was Over But There Was A Bridge At Andau, On The Austrian Border, And If A Hungarian Could Reach That Bridge, He Was Nearly Free It Was About The Most Inconsequential Bridge In Europe, But By An Accident Of History It Became, For A Few Flaming Weeks, One Of The Most Important Bridges In The World, For Across Its Unsteady Planks Fled The Soul Of A NationHere Is James A Michener At His Most Gripping, With A Historic Account Of A People In Desperate Revolt, A True Story As Searing And Unforgettable As Any Of His Bestselling Works Of Fiction

Tales of the South Pacific , which inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.Toward the end of his life, he created the Journey Prize, awarded annually for the year s best short story published by an emerging Canadian writer founded an MFA program now, named the Michener Center for Writers, at the University of Texas at Austin and made substantial contributions to the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, best known for its permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings and a room containing Michener s own typewriter, books, and various memorabilia.Michener s entry in Who s Who in America says he was born on Feb 3, 1907 But he said in his 1992 memoirs that the circumstances of his birth remained cloudy and he did not know just when he was born or who his parents were.

[Reading] ➻ The Bridge at Andau By James A. Michener –
  • Hardcover
  • 271 pages
  • The Bridge at Andau
  • James A. Michener
  • English
  • 19 May 2018
  • 9780394417783

10 thoughts on “The Bridge at Andau

  1. says:

    Michener states at some point in this book, and I am paraphrasing, that the atrocities suffered by a nation are too much for one reader to digest, but the trials of one person are enough to break your heart and build true understanding That explains why Michener, a historian of enormous breadth and critical understanding, chose storytelling, and much of his backlist is historical fiction, telling the stories of history through the people who lived it The Bridge of Andau is not a novel Michener was present at the Austrian border to greet and assist Hungarian refugees of communism in 1956 The flight occurred in November of 1956 and this book was first published in March of 1957 The book reads almost as an extended news report, but with the natural novelistic flow of Michener s best epics He does a tidy job of explaining Hungary s recent history of political subjugation, its long history of tensions with every one of its neighbors, all framing the current crisis as of his writing of the people s revolution over communism, told from the varied perspectives of Hungary s industrial workers, intellectuals, KVO members, and children The Michener of 1957 doesn t know that the Soviet presence is not removed until as recently as 1991, although his plea for Hungarian sovereignty does help to stir the pot, so that even today the government leans toward a socialist liberal agenda with democratically elected leaders and membership in the EU Reading this book really helped me put a chronological order to the long list of isms that have plagued so many nations of Eastern Europe It also illustrated some extremely powerful and disturbing images of exploited power and war.

  2. says:

    I don t normally read non fiction, and especially I avoid war non fiction But this book was so interesting and sad The Hungarians fight for freedom from communist Russia is heartbreaking I can t even comprehend the cruelties inflicted by one human on another But this is an interesting look into the Hungarian s strength of spirit I m glad I read it.

  3. says:

    Knowing that this was a product of the Cold War era I still had high hopes for this book, but the propaganda weighed it down.I didn t expect Michener to get all the facts since he wrote it shortly after Hungary was invaded in 1956, but I like primary sources They often provide an immediacy that is lacking in later publications Sadly this one was too immediate It was nothing than a piece of Agitprop ,which is odd, when one considers that Agitprop is credited to the Soviet Union and Communism Anyway the book is overheated and strikes me as something that one would have found in an issue of Life or Esquires back in the 1950 s So ,while of mild historical curiosity, it isn t that great of a read I won t be keeping this one.

  4. says:

    Being of Hungarian descent and having both parents escape from Communist Hungary after actively partaking in the 1956 Revolution, I was very interested to read this book I found it accurately supporting much of what my parents have described to me about the events in Hungary in 1956 I applaud Mr Michener in undertaking such a daunting task of recounting a part of history that unfortunately many people never even knew occurred.

  5. says:

    James Michener was right there at the Bridge at Andau, watching and helping some of the 200,000 Hungarian refugees that fled to safety into Austria in the weeks following the five day Revolution in 1956 The book was published just months later, and Michener goes to great pains to detail his reporting practices and dedication to truth, knowing full well that the incredible stories he recounts are beyond belief He also understands that, in 1957, much of the world is still on the fence about the merits of Communism and whether Russia is as evil as the Americans say For this reason, the Bridge at Andau serves as an excellent historical account of the Russian occupation of Hungary and mid century American attitudes toward Communism and immigration Michener is clearly worried about the spread of Communism, a fear that means next to nothing in 2018 So the book has a dated quality but it s one that serves the subject well, as it s a very honest account and analysis of Communism as it was in the 1950s It s also a serious love letter to Hungary and the Hungarians About two thirds in, Michener admits he is decidedly pro Hungary, a crush that began when he boned up on Hungarian history in an effort to play devil s advocate to his Transylvanian roommate s frequent rants against his former oppressors That and Michener s experience in WWII and reporting on the Korean War and other Communist riddled areas make him a biased but sincere narrator of the Revolution The author is clearly fond of the Hungarian people, and occasionally lays on the praise a bit thick, gushing about the strength and character of these remarkably attractive people Small, wiry, quick to anger, they have finely chiseled faces and bodies admirably adapted to games Yet the thing is, I agree with him I also recently fell in love with Hungary, first through studying it and then living there for three months And, yes, Hungarians are hotties, at least the ones I met in Budapest were But as a historian, Michener might have toned it down a notch for the sake of accuracy I also cringed at how he rated the three waves of refugees, deeming the Second Wave the only one he actually witnessed as the one most worthy of emigration, because this group, he believes, held the most brave revolutionaries The first wave, he says, was prostitutes, ne er de wells, and cowards, and terrible ambassadors of Hungary The third wave, a full 175,000 of the 200,000, were, he says, not brave enough to fight in the revolution and jumped ship when the going got worse, thus did not earn the right to flee and are not befitting of hero refugee status Yuck I finished this book the same day President Trump called Africa and Haiti shitholes and, indeed, Michener recounts likeminded racist words from mid century American politicians who also didn t want dirty refugees from the shithole situation that was Hungary The United States was initially reluctant to accept Hungarians and greeted the first few arrivals very poorly By September of 1957 we had accepted 35,0000 Hungarian refugees Michener does an awful lot of speculating about the future for Hungary and Hungarians, both in governing and social roles This was likely a useful viewpoint in 1957, but today it feels quaint and much of his fears never came to pass Yet, his observations are a useful study of American, or perhaps Western, opinion of refugees and Communism, and an exciting account of the Hungarian Revolution I m glad the author was alive in 1989 to see Hungary freed from Communism.

  6. says:

    A story of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 Michener interviewed Hungarian refugees during the writing and based the characters of the story on these interviews I found the book so disturbing that I had to move on to some lighter reading when I finished it.

  7. says:

    Otra compra magn fica de mi viaje a Budapest, y nuevamente gracias a la recomendaci n de un acertado librero Un testimonio extraordinario y ver dico de la valent a del pueblo H ngaro Lo recomiendo ampliamente.

  8. says:

    In 1913 the Austro HUNGARIAN Empire was one of Europe s great powers, ruling a vast swathe of conquered territory across Eastern Europe The decision to annex Bosnia in 1908 and then use the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as a pretext for declaring war on Serbia in an attempt to consolidate the hold on Bosnia led to WWI and the deaths of millions of people In the post war political turmoil, Hungary shifted dramatically to the right and formed an alliance with Nazi Germany In WWII Hungary declared war on several of its neighbouring countries, and hundreds of thousands of Hungarian soldiers took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union, an invasion in which 25 30 million Soviets died During WWII about half a million Jews were sent from Hungary to Nazi death camps Michener either ignores all of this or touches on it briefly here and there without expanding Instead he clumsily tries to paint a picture of a brave nation, a proud nation, a nation of heroes, who were oppressed for no reason whatsoever by a mixture of Soviet conscript soldiers and Nazi collaborating homosexuals who only joined the secret police to take revenge on the boys at school who were better at sport than they were.He then accuses the Soviets of creating clumsy propaganda, without realising that this is exactly what this book is It would be interesting to put this next to a similar book written by someone who fled the CIA sponsored coup in insert name of one of dozens of countries here , if only to see if that writer did as poor a job as Michener did I would not advise against reading this book, it does have value when placed in context, but viewed in isolation, it s appalling.

  9. says:

    An unashamedly biased presentation of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and the stories brought by the waves of refugees that fled Hungary for safety and freedom in the West I would probably have given this book a higher rating if Michener hadn t chosen to display some depressingly era appropriate but no less disturbing homophobia in his composite picture of the bad guy of this book a typical member of the AVO Hungarian secret police I suppose he wanted to add extra moral weight to his image of the AVO as an evil, twisted, and degenerate organisation, but from a modern perspective it reads like an especially ham fisted condemnation of deviated preverts , who appear to be the only people who flourish under communism.I certainly don t discount the evils carried out by the communist system, and have no reason to suggest that the sufferings of the Hungarian people under that system should be in any way downplayed Yet Michener s account of events veers into outright sensationalism and, dare I say, agitprop in its most negative form, and should be read alongside an account of the uprising that is deserving of the name nonfiction.

  10. says:

    A must read for anyone who attends a state sponsored school Michener meticulously documents the actions of the communist that ruthlessly ruled Hungary The Hegelian Dialectic, which forms the basis of communism is exposed for the evil it is All this aside, that which most impresses me is despite the hopelessness of the peoples situation, they still had a proud and moral compass which helped them combat the indoctrination of their youth each day Are we so vigilant in ensuring that our children are learning truth over propaganda As an optimist, I hope so, but it is difficult to see when all around us we are distracted, like the slaves in Rome with entertainment.Every parent should read this book and consider their role in the education of their children or to our nations peril we will fall as all other great societies have fallen, from corruption from within.

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