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A Thread of Years

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  25 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
The distinguished historian John Lukacs has been described as "one of the most powerful as well as one of the most learned minds [of the] century" by Conor Cruise O'Brien and as "one of the most original and profound of contemporary thinkers" by Paul Fussell. Here Lukacs presents a series of fictionalized vignettes of daily life as experienced by ordinary individuals in th ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published November 10th 1999 by Yale University Press (first published February 17th 1998)
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Steve Greenleaf
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hx
There are a couple of things that might help you to understand and appreciate John Lukacs. First, his career goal was to be a writer, not a historian. One can say that history, viewed from the wide lens of the Modern Age, to a close-up in Five Days in London: May 1940, to a microscopic view in vignettes as short as a brief imagined conversation, mark the range of his writing. Fortunately, for history as a discipline, and we as readers, he chose modern history as his subject matter.

Second, you s
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Edward
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Lukas is best known for being a historian, having written nearly twenty books on twentieth century history, so this hybrid is a departure. Hybrid because it's neither quite history or fiction, but a blend of the two. Lukacs makes it clear in the introduction that he has no interest in writing historical fiction which is free to invent characters and situations and link them to actual events. History, on the other hand, is more closely tethered to facts with opinions that may be expressed.

What L
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John Nelson
Sep 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
I expected to enjoy this book, but did not. A major disappointment. It consists of a collection of vignettes, each followed by a discussion of what it was supposed to show. Despite the title, the book lacks any real thread tying it together, and the vignettes are not enlightening.
Richard
May 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
The author incisively uses character and moral judgments as an aid in his best histories, but this is no history. This reduces his oeuvre, ironically showing a flaw of his own.
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Lukacs was born in Budapest to a Roman Catholic father and Jewish mother. His parents divorced before the Second World War. During the Second World War he was forced to serve in a Hungarian labour battalion for Jews. During the German occupation of Hungary in 1944-45 he evaded deportation to the death camps, and survived the siege of Budapest. In 1946, as it became clear that Hungary was going to ...more
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