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Twelve days : the story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution / Victor Sebestyen.

By: Sebestyen, Victor, 1956-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 2006Description: xxvii, 340 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm.ISBN: 037542458X; 9780375424588.Subject(s): Hungary -- History -- Revolution, 1956 -- ChronologyAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Twelve days.DDC classification: 943.9052 Summary: Sebestyen, a journalist whose own family fled from Hungary, gives us a fresh account of this defining moment in the Cold War, incorporating newly released official Hungarian and Soviet documents, his family's diaries, and eyewitness testimony. Tracing the events that led to the rebellion, Sebestyen's narrative moves from the tumultuous streets of Budapest to the Kremlin and the White House, where we hear conversations of those who planned and took part in the uprising and of those who helped crush it--some actively, others through craven inaction. Sebestyen shows how Western rhetoric encouraged the rebels and convinced them they would receive help. For a few thrilling days, as the world watched in amazement, it looked as though the Hungarians would humble the Soviet Union. Then the Soviets showed they would resort to brutal lengths to cling to their Communist empire--and the West let them.--From publisher description.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DB957.5.C49 S43 2006 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001829365

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Sebestyen, a journalist whose own family fled from Hungary, gives us a fresh account of this defining moment in the Cold War, incorporating newly released official Hungarian and Soviet documents, his family's diaries, and eyewitness testimony. Tracing the events that led to the rebellion, Sebestyen's narrative moves from the tumultuous streets of Budapest to the Kremlin and the White House, where we hear conversations of those who planned and took part in the uprising and of those who helped crush it--some actively, others through craven inaction. Sebestyen shows how Western rhetoric encouraged the rebels and convinced them they would receive help. For a few thrilling days, as the world watched in amazement, it looked as though the Hungarians would humble the Soviet Union. Then the Soviets showed they would resort to brutal lengths to cling to their Communist empire--and the West let them.--From publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Fifty years ago, the Hungarians rose in spontaneous revolt against their Soviet overlords and the inept and brutal hacks governing their country. Sebestyen, a London-based journalist, uses previously unreleased documents from Hungarian and Russian archives and eyewitness accounts and diaries to reassess what he characterizes as "the least organized revolution in history...no leaders, no plans." Its causes were multiple, including Soviet Premier Krushchev's relaxation of control over Eastern-bloc countries, communism's triumph in Poland, and hatred of the Rakosi government in Hungary. Radio Free Europe had incited Eastern Europeans to rise up, but when the uprising started, President Eisenhower delayed acting until the time for action was past: his attention was on the Suez Canal instead. The Soviets attacked the vastly outnumbered and poorly equipped freedom fighters. Sebestyen's conclusion is discouraging but indubitably correct: "The revolution was the defining moment of the Cold War when the Soviet Union showed...it was prepared to use barbaric measures to keep its empire, and the West was content to let it do so." Recommended for all libraries. David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

These two works were published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the famed 13-day Hungarian Revolution that began October 23, 1956. In 1956, the editors have compiled essays and scholarly articles from 25 authors, primary source documents, speeches, and related materials. Divided into seven sections, the comprehensive volume examines the events as well as the prelude and aftermath of the revolution. Various chapters focus on topics as diverse as the military aspects of the revolution, international diplomacy, and the lasting legacy that the revolution spawned for Hungarians. Some articles are reprinted from earlier studies or are updated summaries of older works, while many articles are new. Historians tend to debate whether the outcome of the 1956 revolution was a complete failure or an ultimate victory, with the fall of the Iron Curtain. The general consensus that emerges from this work is that in the long term, the revolution was a success.In comparison, Hungarian-born British journalist Sebestyen has written a quasi-scholarly and quite readable account of the 1956 revolution. Twelve Days serves as an excellent description of this event in Hungarian history, starting with the end of WW II and the rise of communism in Hungary and concluding with the bitter aftermath of the suppressed revolution. Although there are some minor factual inaccuracies, readers wanting a vivid, sensational description of the revolution will be pleased with this book. Serious Hungarian and Cold War scholars will be better served by 1956 or by Charles Gati's Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (CH, Mar'07, 44-4018). Summing Up: 1956. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. Twelve Days. Recommended. Lower and upper-division undergraduates, researchers, and general readers. C. P. Vesei Baldwin-Wallace College

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