The Great Escape
After recommending this fantastic book to yet another friend, I thought I would put my recommendation here online. THE GREAT ESCAPE by Kati Marton is a history of pre-war Budapest, and how the shadow of Fascism lengthened over it in the years before World War II.
It is also a biography of nine extraordinary people who fled Nazi Europe and who changed the world: scientists Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner, and John von Neumann; the author Arthur Koestler; photographers Robert Capa and Andre Kertesz; film makers Alexander Korda and Michael Curtiz.
This book gave me a window into a place I’ve always loved but never known — the Budapest of my grandparents, the gilded magical city of cafes, opera, and rum balls. If you are interested in Hungary, pre-WWII history, fabulous expats and refugees, or the history of nuclear physics, you are going to love this book!