Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City” as Want to Read:
Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Prague is at the core of everything both wonderful and terrible in Western history, but few people truly understand this city's unique culture. In Prague in Black and Gold, Peter Demetz strips away sentimentalities and distortions and shows how Czechs, Germans, Italians, and Jews have lived and worked together for over a thousand years. .
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 18th 1998 by Hill and Wang (first published July 11th 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Prague in Black and Gold, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Prague in Black and Gold

The Trial by Franz KafkaThe Combinations by Louis ArmandThe Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaThe Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaThe Golem by Gustav Meyrink
Best Books Set in Prague
43rd out of 84 books — 90 voters
Treasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienThe Arabian Nights by AnonymousThe Gold Bug by Edgar Allan PoeGoldfinger by Ian Fleming
All that Glitters...
129th out of 186 books — 35 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 393)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 19, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
A very good history of Prague, especially with focus to the various ethnic groups that composed the population of this great city throughout its history; to understand how Prague evolved in terms of polity and culture, this book is essential, though in places dry. There is no doubt the author—a professor of German literature who was born and grew up in Prague—knows his stuff, but in places it can come across as dry while in other instances, the author does assume the reader already knows a wealt ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Malcolm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-europe
Prague, even with mass tourism, stag parties, and the McDonaldization of Wenceslas Square, remains one of Europe's most marvellous cities. Demetz takes us through parts of its labyrinthine, gorgeous, politically central history. The more I visit, the more the city grows on me and the more Demetz's glorious book comes to life.
Oct 14, 2013 Nicky rated it really liked it

I obtained this book solely to read chapter three on Charles IV and it did not disappoint. It could hardly fail to delight as there is so little written about this remarkable monarch in English and this is one of those volumes.

This is a serious study on the history of Prague and, where helpful, the rest of the country and other relevant places. It is not a tourist manual. Deep and academic it can be heavy going and even with the author's helpful guide to Czech pronunciation the Cze
Brad Rousse
Dec 28, 2014 Brad Rousse rated it really liked it
A detailed and thorough history of Prague from prehistory to the birth of independent Czechoslovakia. Demetz does a masterful job describing the events, places and people that have given rise to the Mother of Cities as we know her today. I read this as part of my preparation to move to Prague earlier this year, and I must say it pre prepared me very well. My two main complaints would be there is, at times, far too much detail and the narrative can get sidetracked. Further, to make the argument t ...more
Aimeé Rodríguez
Sep 08, 2014 Aimeé Rodríguez rated it really liked it
Great historical review/overview of the city. Lobkowicz Palace and other museum visits would compliment the areas that are lacking. I recommend you read this prior to a trip to the city, especially if you want to recreate history.
Riku Sarlin
Sep 29, 2015 Riku Sarlin rated it really liked it
Prahan matkaan valmistautumista... Melko haastava mutta palkitseva opus Prahan historiasta. Eipä ole kovin yksinkertainen historia tälläkään kaupungilla.
Mar 22, 2013 Mackay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Since I will visit Prague soon, thought it best to know something of the place. This is an interesting, though densely written, introduction. As the title suggests, it is not a linear nor complete history, but scenes and issues the author find compelling, such as the mythic past, the literary traditions of the medieval era, the question of the Jewish denizens of Prague, and so on. Demetz states in his introduction that he wishes to convey both the bright (gold) and dark (black) of Prague's long ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, solid and readable history of Prague from mythical beginnings up to 1938. Largely concentrates on some key eras including Charles IV, the Hussites, Rudolf II, 1849 and Masaryk’s Prague. On a visit it certainly helps to make the city a lot more intelligible.
Nancy Bielski
Nov 30, 2014 Nancy Bielski rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This took me about a year and a half to read. It's very dense, and more of a cultural history than I expected.
Jul 23, 2012 Lysergius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Illuminates the multiple layers of the history of Prague.
Janeen Habbas
Janeen Habbas rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2016
Satu Hagner
Satu Hagner is currently reading it
Sep 19, 2016
Doilum rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2016
Karl Hart
Karl Hart marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
tx marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
Nader Absi
Nader Absi rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2016
Cindy III
Cindy III marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2016
Aika is currently reading it
Sep 02, 2016
Isa marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
Miranda marked it as to-read
Aug 07, 2016
Baylee marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2016
John Doran
John Doran marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2016
naktikovas rated it liked it
Jul 31, 2016
Sandra marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Oscar Holgersson
Oscar Holgersson rated it it was ok
Aug 26, 2016
Damona marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2016
Maureen marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • From Finland With Love / Suomesta, rakkaudella
  • Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture
  • Bazaar Style: Decorating with Market and Vintage Finds
  • The Battle: A New History of Waterloo
  • Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti
  • Nul Points
  • Nan Goldin
  • Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park
  • How Long Is a Piece of String?: More Hidden Mathematics of Everyday Life
  • Stray Sock Sewing: Making One of a Kind Creatures from Socks
  • Eastern Europe!: Everything You Need to Know About the History (and More) of a Region that Shaped Our World and Still Does
  • The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918
  • Mouse Guard, Labyrinth and Other Stories (Free Comic Book Day 2012)
  • Everything I Know I Learned From TV: Philosophy For the Unrepentant Couch Potato
  • A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present
  • A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889
  • Little Bird
  • The Art Question

Share This Book