The Will to Survive
Bryan Cartledge

The Will to Survive

The Will to Survive is the first comprehensive history of Hungary to be published in English by a non-Hungarian since C.A.Macartney’s Hungary: A Short History (Edinburgh, 1962). It is also the first history of Hungary to be written by a former British Ambassador to that country, who witnessed the events which he records in the book’s closing chapters and knew many of the Hungarians who took part in them. This new history in English is particularly timely, and necessary, as Hungary becomes a full member of the European Union: government servants and businessmen- and students who aspire to join them- will be dealing directly with Hungarians and Hungarian affairs for the first time and will need to understand the influences which have formed them.

The book, combining narrative with analysis and comment, covers the political, economic, social and cultural history of Hungary from 400BC to 2000AD- from the westward migration of the Magyar tribes and their occupation of the Carpathian Basin to the entry of a democratic Hungarian state into the NATO Alliance and the European Union. No previous history written from the perspective of a non-Hungarian has attempted such a comprehensive approach, which balances accounts of the tragedies which have befallen this small nation with appreciation of its cultural achievements. The Will to Survive should become the standard history of Hungary in English, to be read both for general interest and for reference.

Book Details:

  • Author: Bryan Cartledge
  • Published Year: 2006
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Timewell Press
    • Hungary: Officina
    • UK: Hurst
    • Hungary: Holnap

Bryan Cartledge

After taking a double First in History and a Russian language qualification at Cambridge University, Bryan Cartledge undertook research into aspects of the Russian Revolution at St. Antony’s College, Oxford (where he was elected to a Research Fellowship in 1958) and at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University.He was enlisted to assist Sir Anthony Eden (later the Earl of Avon) with the first volume of his memoirs, an experience which encouraged him to embark on a diplomatic career.In the British Diplomatic Service, Cartledge served in Sweden, the Soviet Union and Iran before being app...
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Book Reviews

  • "His historical judgements are often excellent...my admiration for what Bryan Cartledge has accomplished in his fine book."
    Harper’s Magazine
  • "Histories of Hungary are usually the works of natives of that small country. There are few exceptions to that; but now we have a very valuable one. Bryan Cartledge’s The Will to Survive: A History of Hungary excels for many reasons: the breadth of his knowledge, his historical and humane insights, and the fineness of this author’s style. Many of his pages breathe a genuine sympathy and a, not always uncritical, understanding of the sometimes tragic, but also sometimes inspiring history of that country and of its people. This is the best history of Hungary in the English language."
    John Lukacs
  • "Deeply researched, comprehensive, lucid and elegantly written - this is engrossing history, all the more welcome for its appearance fifty years after Hungary's abortive but inspiring Revolution of 1956"
    Charles Wheeler
  • "meticulously researched and beautifully written......The Will to Survive is set to become the standard work on Hungary"
    International Affairs