A History of Modern Hungary, 1867-1994

A History of Modern Hungary, 1867-1994

A History of Modern Hungary, 1867-1994

A History of Modern Hungary, 1867-1994


Since this book was first published in 1988, Hungary has experienced dramatic changes as the disintegration of the Soviet Union has dissolved the framework - and the political and economic certainties - of the Cold War era. Professor Hoensch has updated and greatly enlarged the book to cover the end of the Kadar regime and the crowded years since. He analyses the failure of communism in Hungary and why the 'velvet revolution' was so successful; and he explores the achievements and disappointments of the new Hungary and considers why a free electorate voted the post-war communists into power in June 1994. The appearance of this updated edition: the only full history of Hungary from the late Habsburg period to the present, will be greatly welcomed.


Perhaps an art will come which, without words or even gestures, can convey the experiences of a people by looks alone.

Stanislav Jerzy Lec

Behind the widespread cliché of Hungary as a land of romantic steppes, grazing cattle herds, village wells, operetta melodies, gypsy ensembles, csárdás, paprika and tokajer lies a country whose historical development has witnessed a number of breaks in continuity and periods of decisive change since the abortive revolution of 1848-49, while at the same time displaying an astonishing capacity for renewal. While the Compromise of 1867, which regulated the status of the historic kingdom of St Stephen in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and the effects of the 1920 Trianon Treaty, Hitler's attempts to incorporate Hungary into his vision of a 'New European Order', its integration into the Socialist Bloc after the catastrophe of the Second World War and Kádár's independent 'Hungarian path towards Socialism' are generally known, a detailed knowledge of these developments and their context tends to be lacking. Although the past few years have seen a number of western tourists to the country straddling the Danube steadily increase, its history, ongoing traditions and the motivating factors behind the 'Hungarian model' of the present tend to remain obscured from view on these holiday trips.

Since 1956-57, when Gyula Miskolczy's lectures first introduced me to nineteenth-century Hungarian history during a year spent studying at the University of Vienna, I have repeatedly occupied myself with specific aspects of Hungarian history. This interest has been nurtured and strengthened by my own family's connections . . .

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