Review by Magda
This well-researched book covers 2000 years of the social history of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Overrun by wars and ruled for 500 years by the Habsburg monarchy, followed by 25 years of communist terror, with a short experiment with democracy in-between, this is the tumultuous history of Prague. The book details the robust Jewish presence between the wars and their faith during WWW2 and the small but lively present-day worshiping Jewish population. The author describes the removal of Sudeten Germans from the only home they have ever known after Germans lost the war to the underground anti-communist dissidents and their contribution to the Velvet revolution in 1989. A chapter is dedicated to the story of the arrival of temporary migrant factory workers from Vietnam during the socialist years, who became permanent residents, and the paradox of this homogeneous nation now, having Vietnamese children speaking local Czech dialects. The book ends with the depiction of the unfortunate current rise of nationalism and the opposing forces of exclusivity, multiculturalism, and diversity.
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