Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt
Winner of the 2007 Marshall Shulman Prize
The 1956 Hungarian revolution, and its suppression by the U.S.S.R., was a key event in the cold war, demonstrating deep dissatisfaction with both the communist system and old-fashioned Soviet imperialism. But now, fifty years later, the simplicity of this David and Goliath story should be revisited, according to Charles Gati's new history of the revolt.
Denying neither Hungarian heroism nor Soviet brutality, Failed Illusions nevertheless modifies our picture of what happened. Imre Nagy, a reform communist who headed the revolutionary government and turned into a genuine patriot, could not rise to the occasion by steering a realistic course between his people's demands and Soviet geopolitical and ideological interests. The United States was all talk, no action, while Radio Free Europe simultaneously backed the insurgents' unrealizable demands and opposed Nagy. In the end, the Soviet Union followed its imperial impulse instead of seeking a political solution to the crisis in the spirit of de-Stalinization.
Failed Illusions is based on extensive archival research, including the CIA's operational files, and hundreds of interviews with participants in Budapest, Moscow, and Washington. Personal observations by the author, a young reporter in Budapest in 1956, bring the tragic story vividly to life.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (Cold War International History Project Series)User Review - Brandy - Goodreads
Read this for a grad class. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. Gati's own experience in and ties to Hungary provide for a nuanced examination of the situation in Hungary and the Soviet ... Read full review
Review: Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (Cold War International History Project Series)User Review - Jim - Goodreads
For me this was an eye opening introduction to the political dynamics within the USSR during the post-Stalin Cold War and between the USSR and the so called satellite states. Not to mention the ... Read full review
Introduction to the Argument
The Inadvertent Revolutionary
Washington and Budapest before the Explosion
Moscow and Budapest before the Explosion
The Revolt That Failed
The Revolt That Did Not Have to Fail