Book recommendations on Czech history

Discussion in 'Culture' started by mrb204, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. mrb204

    mrb204 New Member

    I'm moving to Prague in September and would like book recommendations. I don't need or want tourist guides or books about the culture. Since I'll be living with my czech boyfriend, I have both of those areas covered. I'm looking for books about the history of the Czech Republic. (Not that the bf doesn't know Czech history, he does). It's just that right now I live in Berlin, and I really love this city because I studied German language and history, so I know so much about it. I want to be able to be at least a little more knowledgable about Prague before I move there as well. I want to get excited about moving there for reasons besides finally being in the same city as my boyfriend. Thanks for the help!
  2. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I dunno if it'd be your thing or not but at the moment I'm reading "Letters to Olga" which is a collection of letters Václav Havel wrote to his wife while he was in prison for four and a half years from 1979 for speaking out about human rights.
    It's kind of historical, philosophical, and personal, there's a lot of "I hope you changed the light bulb in the cellar" type stuff but it's very sweet.

    It is so amazing to me that this person separated from friends and family and freedom for something they believed in. I think I'd have shut up after I was arrested the first time. He was also given the chance to go to America instead of going to prison but he turned it down because he felt sure it meant he could never come home.
  3. Levandule

    Levandule Member

    I've recently read a book written by Benjamin Kuras: Czechs and Balances. "History books are not always the most engaging and entertaining read - this is! It gives a very informative account of the history of Prague and the Czech nation but in a way that is emminently readable" (quoted from ... 8085890585). Hope it helps!
  4. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Do you want some serious scientific stuff or a popular book on history? Or historical fiction?

    And what historical period is of your interest?

    The book by Ben Kuras is not the best one as for the historical accuracy, but it reveals a lot of the Czech culture and character. And it is funny.
    It is rather book of feuilletons on historical stereotypes.
    The book is avaible in both English and Czech as Ben is proficient in both the languages. The Czech title is “Češi na vlásku”.

    Similar book, less humorous and more philosophic, was writen by Jiří Gruša. It is called “Česko - návod k použití”. I am not aware of English translation, but there is a German version “Gebrauchsanweisung für Tschechien und Prag”.
  5. mrb204

    mrb204 New Member

    I don't have too many specific requirements, although I prefer nonfiction to fiction. I'm just looking for ideas that I can check out when I get to the States on vacation in a few weeks and I will pick the ones that sound interesting to me. So the more suggestions, the better. I'm currently in the middle of the bureaucratic nightmare that is applying for a czech work permit/visa so I am very strapped for cash at the moment, so I will be heading to the library when I get stateside. I'll check out the German translation you mentioned while I'm still in Berlin.

    Thanks for the help, I'll let you know what I find/read.

    And feel free to keep the suggestions coming. :)
  6. Torgut

    Torgut Active Member

    Hello! I know I'm not providing a straight answer to your question. But in case you don't buy your History books before you get to Prague, you can count with a good set of bookstores with English books only, and there you will easily find a Czech History section. I started to read a book about Czech History last year but it was too boring (and note that I have a degree in History, I'm used to read all kind of texts regarding History). I can't even remember the name but I wouldn't advice it anyway.

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