Enemies of the People
My Family's Journey to America
By Kati Marton
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781416586128, 288pp.)
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
"You are opening a Pandora's box," Marton was warned when she filed for her family's secret police fi les in Budapest. But her family history -- during both the Nazi and the Communist periods -- was too full of shadows. The files revealed terrifying truths: secret love aff airs, betrayals inside the family circle, torture and brutalities alongside acts of stunning courage -- and, above all, deep family love.
In this true-life thriller, Kati Marton, an accomplished journalist, exposes the cruel mechanics of the Communist Terror State, using the secret police files on her journalist parents as well as dozens of interviews that reveal how her family was spied on and betrayed by friends and colleagues, and even their children's babysitter. In this moving and brave memoir, Marton searches for and finds her parents, and love.
Marton relates her eyewitness account of her mother's and father's arrests in Cold War Budapest and the terrible separation that followed. She describes the pain her parents endured in prison -- isolated from each other and their children. She reveals the secret war between Washington and Moscow, in which Marton and her family were pawns in a much larger game.
By the acclaimed author of The Great Escape, Enemies of the People is a tour de force, an important work of history as it was lived, a narrative of multiple betrayals on both sides of the Cold War that ends with triumph and a new beginning in America.
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.
Kati Marton's latest book, "Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America," is an intimate memoir partly based on the Hungarian Secret Police file of her family. Marton, a former ABC and NPR reporter, tells how her parents acted in such blatant pro-American ways that they were arrested and jailed. She tells Robert Siegel they were heroic citizens, but irresponsible parents to her and her sister. More at NPR.org
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“Powerful and absolutely absorbing. . . .Enemies of the People has all the magnetism, and, yes, the excitement, of the very best spy fiction. But would that it were fiction. . . . An honestly inspiring story.”
--Alan Furst, The New York Times Book Review
“Marton’s story is one of bravery, suffering, survival and vindication. She tells it in straightforward, lucid prose . . . carefully reported, almost clinical account of what it is like to live in a totalitarian state and how hard it is to escape from it. . . . It’s a terrific story, and Marton tells it very well.”
--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
“Wonderful. . . . A family story that reads like a novel. . . . A book that is honest, frank, and true . . . recalls the best works of Koestler and Orwell, but contained within a family story, which remains for all its horrors, touching, life-loving, even, in its own unsentimental way, inspirational.”
--Michael Korda, The Daily Beast