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


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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 (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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 Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other books include 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.

More About the Author

Kati Marton, an award-winning former NPR and ABC News correspondent, is the author of Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History, a New York Times bestseller, as well as Wallenberg, The Polk Conspiracy, A Death in Jerusalem, and a novel, An American Woman. Mother of a son and a daughter, she lives in New York with her husband, Richard Holbrooke.

Customer Reviews

I thought the book was a great read as well very interesting.
Mr and Mrs Michael Alexander
Because of that, this book really didn't offer me any really new information about the country and the time the events took place.
Terry L
I don't want to reveal too much of the book... but it is a very good read.
M. Hyman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 84 people found the following review helpful 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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By KIM on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Part memoir, part historical narrative, Kati Marton spins a fantastic tale of her family's courageous journey to America.

Her parents were international journalists in Budapest behind the Iron Curtain after WWII. Their reporting eventually led to them being imprisoned when Marton was a young girl. The author doesn't just relate her memories of the time, which are sometimes flawed because she was so young, she digs deeper. After her parents died several years ago, Marton began searching, obsessively as she states,for what really happened during those years. What she discovers is beyond anything imaginable. The result is a narrative filled in with historical documents, redacted goverment security files, FBI files, secret papers from Budapest and eye witness accounts of the nightmare the Martons endured. It gives readers an up close and personal glimpse of what those behind the Iron Curtain faced.

The author does a remarkable job of mixing personal observations, emotions and history. We know what she is going through as she is uncovering the hidden truths, and we know what she felt as a child when her parents just "disappeared" from her life for months. It is well balanced, thoughtful, and informative, but most of all, it is a story of a family's strength of heart that helped them survive and led them to freedom.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Van Hecke VINE VOICE on October 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the fascinating story of a famous Hungarian couple who were caught up in the politics of terror and paranoia that were the reality of Communist Hungary from just after World War II until the family was finally able to leave the country in 1957.

Endre and Ilona Marton (who were already survivors of World War II, especially remarkable because of their Jewish ancestry - one set of parents perished in Auschwitz) worked as journalists for the Associated Press and United Press (respectively) during the early critical days of the Cold War and were often the only line of information for "the West" present in the country. They lived in open defiance of the Soviet system and this is a detailed account of their story - based on the massive files collected by the Hungarian secret police and made available to their daughter, now a journalist herself and the author of this book. They were renowned for their excellent and honest journalism during very tough times and had much interaction with Western journalists and embassy staff - both of which brought them under intense scrutiny from the Hungarian secret police and eventually led to their arrest - leaving their children in the care of strangers for a considerable length of time.

It's really interesting to have this story told by this couple's daughter, whose own memories enhance the narrative. I'm amazed at her objectivity during the bulk of the story - the story of her family's life in Hungary. Learning the story of her parents and their journalistic integrity helps make sense of her amazing ability to not let her own feelings and biases get in the way of this important story.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Addison Dewitt VINE VOICE on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kati Marton's "Enemies of the People" will interest those who are Iron Curtain buffs, those of Hungarian descent or anyone that enjoys reading about tragedy and eventual triumph. However, it won't interest a huge swath of any one group and that is because it deals with difficult subjects that happened in an era most have forgotten.

The book centers around her parents, both correspondents working for the AP and UPI behind the Hungarian Iron Curtain during the late 40s until mid-to-late 50s. Both were watched intensely by the secret police and, while allowed to live a certain life of luxury compared to average citizens of the time, both were eventually imprisoned and later released. The entire family came to the U.S. and started over once they escaped Hungary with the help of American friends.

Marton dwells on the rough years after the war, her slow realization of her family being watched by the AVI and the events that surrounded her parents arrest for most of the book, using a "look back" technique aided by papers she was given access to by both governments. One-on-one interviews and a revisit to her homeland help round out the story toward the end. As any offspring might do, she writes about her parents with a questioning viewpoint and allows us into their private family matters with a journalist's approach and a documentary style. It may seem cold to some, but when dealing with what could be seen as highly emotional events, she stays calm and almost detached. And this feels correct given the circumstances and the horrible realities she was dealt as a child. It could have easily slipped into self-pitying, psychological blather, and this reader is appreciative that she chose the cleaner path as it kept my interest going.
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