A History of Hungary provides a comprehensive yet approachable survey in which politics and culture, economic, social and intellectual developments, and the wider European context are integrated in a single narrative.
László Kontler sets the stage through a discussion of conditions in the Carpathian Basin, the main theatre of Hungarian history, in prehistoric and ancient times. He then adeptly steers the reader through the complex process of migration and conquest at the end of which the scions of the last nomads who settled on the European landmass created a Christian monarchy. Amidst ups and downs, the emerging Kingdom of Hungary still became a force to reckon with in the region wedged between the Baltic and the Balkans, and the Germanic and Russian lands for half a millennium.
Further on, he explores factors such as socio-economic backwardness and foreign hegemony, which put Hungary at a disadvantage in coping with the challenges of modernity – a centuries-long process marked by the thwarted heroism of revolutions and wars of independence, the triumphs and the costs of occasional opportunism and historic compromises, the trauma of territorial losses, the self-restraint imposed by a narrow scope of action, and the satisfaction of mere survival. The book includes a detailed discussion of the ’socialist’ period, while an Epilogue assesses the achievements and the difficulties of the post-1989 transition to democracy.
This revised edition is also marked by a new Foreword and an updated bibliography.
László Kontler is Professor of History at Central European University and also teaches at Eötvös Loránd University (both in Budapest). His research and publications focus on European intellectual history in early-modern times and the Enlightenment.
‘Whether we like it or not, the history of East Central Europe is that of individual countries...[T]he writing of national histories is further justified by the erudition and intellectual brilliance of the author.’ – Times Literary Supplement (István Deák, Columbia University)
‘This is a magnificent work and, indeed, the best survey of Hungarian history ever published in any language. It is eminently readable... This is a book which serves not only the general reader but also the specialist with an interest in just one part of Hungary’s history. It is comprehensive, inspiring and provoking.’ – Slavonic and East European Review (Martyn Rady, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London)
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Megjelenés éve: 2009
Terjedelem: 559 oldal
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