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Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 20, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A true story that is deeply moving and altogether amazing. It is a mystery story, a love story, and a walk through history." -- BARBARA WALTERS

"Kati Marton's Enemies of the People is a riveting moral tale of Communist terror and human courage that will help the reader better understand a period in European history that must be remembered." -- ELIE WIESEL

"Kati Marton's powerful and unsparing memoir is one of the great new testimonies from the Cold War era, candidly relating a version of Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon as lived by one of the daughters of the resisters. I will never forget this book and neither will you." -- SEAN WILENTZ, AUTHOR OF THE RISE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

"This is an honest, bracing, unforgettable story that will change the way readers think about the middle of the 20th century in Europe. For all of what we know of places like Hungary in the Stalinist period, we know nothing until we feel it, and here we do, finally and profoundly." -- STEVE COLL, AUTHOR OF GHOST WARS AND THE BIN LADENS

"It is the rare page-turner and thriller that comes in the form of a family memoir. By sharing her family's improbable journey, Kati Marton has left her readers moved and changed, with a renewed appreciation for the freedoms -- and the family -- we cherish." -- SAMANTHA POWER, AUTHOR OF A PROBLEM FROM HELL AND CHASING THE FLAME

"Kati Marton has written a candid and courageous book about a chapter in her parents' lives that most daughters would have preferred to leave unexamined." -- LOUIS BEGLEY, AUTHOR OF MATTERS OF HONOR AND WARTIME LIES

About the Author

Kati Marton is the author of True Believer: Stalin's American Spy; Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World; Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History; Wallenberg; The Polk Conspiracy; and A Death in Jerusalem. She is an award-winning former NPR and ABC News correspondent. She lives in New York City.

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416586121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416586128
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Enemies of the People" is the seventh book by Kati Marton, distinguished, award-winning former news correspondent for the ABC, and NPR, networks. She has previously penned New York Times best sellers Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History; and The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World. She is also author of Wallenberg: Missing Hero; The Polk Conspiracy; and A Death in Jerusalem. Marton, it turns out, is the daughter of Hungarian journalists of Jewish descent. For this book, she has delved into the files of that small country's former Communist government's once awesome secret police - apparently, with 21,000 employees, that organization dominated its society as brutally as the previous East German Communist government's famous, feared Secret Police, the Stasi; and discovered the truth about a black period in her childhood, when both her parents were arrested, and in jail, charged with spying for the United States. The author also conducted dozens of interviews among her parents' former friends, co-workers, and lovers, behind the former Iron Curtain, that kept East Europe in isolation from the world.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I can't find a link to write directly to Kati Marton, so will post this here in hopes that this will reach her eventually, as well as add a brief paragraph about the book:

For Kati Marton re Enemies of the People:

Not long ago I saw the review of your book in the NYT Friday book review e-mail, and remembered a lecture your father gave in the late 1970s, when I was a student at Georgetown's Foreign Service School. (I did, by the way, get the book from the library and read it cover to cover!)

I don't remember much about the lecture, but I wanted you so much to know that your dad spoke about you with SUCH PRIDE! He was wearing a vest with his jacket, his hair was steely (salt and pepper) gray then... he walked back and forth on the stage of the lecture venue, and I remember him telling us about "Kati Marton" the journalist, his daughter, and how you had just begun working for ABC. He was clearly pleased as punch--you could almost see him swell with pride at how well you had done to be working there at such a young age.

I remember almost nothing else about the lecture, alas, but I do remember his pride in you, and thought you might like to hear it.

Congrats on a very well written biography/memoir--as the NYT reviewer said, it reads like a good spy thriller, but it is for real!

Cheers, Sarah

As for reviewing the book... it is a wonderful read even if you aren't particularly riveted by Cold War history. Kati's storytelling skills come into play, deftly weaving her child's memories and the facts she gathered using her reporter's skills.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was given the opportunity to review this book by Kati Marton, whose parents were reporters for the Associated Press during the 1950's in Communist Hungary.

I found this rather short book (under 300 pages) to be a very interesting story about the child of parents who were indeed branded 'enemies of the people' by the Communist Hungarian government for their supposed collaboration as spies with the Western media following WWII - more because her parents reported on the Communist regime. Sometimes the truth is too horrible to make public.

Marton is a very good writer in that the book really held my attention for its length in a description of how she (Marton) reacted to having her parents harassed, then arrested by the authorities. The book arose out of her opportunity to see the files that the Hungarian government had accumulated on her parents during this period. She relates how she is told more than once not to travel too deeply because she may not like what she finds in the files. I will leave it for the reader to find whether this was the true.

I found the descriptions of how people around her parents were informers for the government chilling and yet also humorous in the banality of how life was described as if exercise of freedom was a threat to the regime. Also, I liked how the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 played such an important part in their lives.

As you might guess, Marton's family eventually makes it to America.

In the spirit of the fall of Communism 20 years ago, this is a very good description of life in a Communist regime (even one as nominal as Hungary) and how even children were affected by the evils of the state that perpetrated such odious crimes.
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