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

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

  • Title: Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City
  • Author: Peter Demetz
  • ISBN: 9780809016099
  • Page: 354
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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

    One thought on “Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City”

    1. 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 w [...]

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. Fascinating. 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 [...]

    5. 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 [...]

    6. I bought this book in a small Prague bookshop and found it an excellent and in-depth description of the history of Prague. I learnt so much more about Charles IV, Jan Hus, Rusolf II and Kafka. I learnt how the Czechs, Germans and Jews have always mingled around in this city. I learnt that economic incentives (read: tax breaks) have always been used by ancient kings to help persuade citizen to settle in newly expanded land. I learnt that the Jews have always been the victim of anti-semitism even [...]

    7. 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 [...]

    8. 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.

    9. For those who have time to read an excellent introduction to Prague and middle european history, this is your book. For those with a love for literature and writers on the same topic, for sure this is your book. The great perspective of this book is its chapters of main parts of Czech history. It doesn’t follow a chronological order, it decides to focus on the main highlights: Presmylids[Otakar, Vaclav II), Luxembourg rulers ( John the blind, Charles iv), Rudollf II, Mozart, 1848, Masayrek. Wh [...]

    10. This book strikes an excellent balance between events and individuals, also depicts the atmosphere and topographies of the city with feeling and detail. I would say this is among the best I ever read regarding history of a city (and its peoples, three in this case). The personal relationship of the author with the city also brings in something touching. Apart from all the intriguing main chapters, I also enjoyed reading the epilogue about the author’s difficult return to Prague after 40 years [...]

    11. Prahan matkaan valmistautumista Melko haastava mutta palkitseva opus Prahan historiasta. Eipä ole kovin yksinkertainen historia tälläkään kaupungilla.

    12. This took me about a year and a half to read. It's very dense, and more of a cultural history than I expected.

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