The Bridge at Andau

Published 9.7.2020: One of my goals this year has been to read more offline. We own a lot of books, many of which I have not rad. One reason I seldom buy new books is that I have so many on my shelves already that I haven't read.

The Bridge at Andau written by James A Michener and published in 1957 actually belonged to my husband. I picked it up because it was short, and about a topic I did not know well. I haven't put an Amazon link to the book in the case, because I doubt that it's still in print. It's a pretty bleak book, but then the Hungarian uprising against the Soviets is a very bleak moment in human history. The US did not cover itself in glory here. Eventually, the US did help refugees resettle, but during the actual uprising, the US government did nothing to help the revolutionaries.

The last two chapters in the book are Michener's guess as to the course of the future, now our past. They aren't particularly accurate, and I'm not going to waste time here outlining them.

The early chapters though are a fascinating look at a historical event conveyed through the eyes of participants, though in almost all cases, the individuals are composite characters, communism was still ascendent in 1957 and people feared, rightly, that there would be retaliation for talking. I do remember learning that there had been an uprising in 1956 in my high school history classes, but frankly, everything after World War II was usually rushed past because the end of the school year would be approaching.

The writing is vivid, and the stories are almost unbelievable. Michener recognizes this and mentions that fact a number of times, as well as all the ways he tried to verify the fantastic stories he was being told. Michener is not a journalist, he's a novel writer, so using composite characters doesn't phase him. If his rendition is true to the facts, it's too bad that the Hungarian uprising story isn't better known. Although unlikely, it might help the Bernie bros and "broettes" realize that socialism isn't the answer.

This author claims not to be a Bernie follower, however, he views about looting are just bat-shit crazy. I really did try to find a less offensive description, but I failed. She wants to eliminate private property, which is just asinine— and I didn't have to become a small business owner to realize that. I am no Trump supporter and will never vote for the con man, but this kind of argument just strengthens him in my opinion.

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