Prague: Belonging in the Modern City

Harvard Univ. May 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780674048652. $29.95. TRAV
Bryant’s previous work (history, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Prague in Black) delved into the tragic implications of nationality and nationalism in Czechoslovakia under the Nazi regime. This title provides differing perspectives of past and present-day Prague. Each nuanced viewpoint (be it German, Czech, revolutionary, communist, or global) captures the imagination by tapping into the sense of belonging and its relationship to nationalism. The complex history of enchanting Prague is told through the experiences of travel writer Karel Vladislav Zap, journalist Egon Erwin Kisch, activist and carpenter Vojtech Berger, actress Hana Frejková, and blogger Duong Nguyen Jirásková. Bryant finishes the book with a flourish by walking readers through Prague’s Old Town Square, and compelling them to “imagin[e] history in ways that are decent and true.” This evocative and well-researched work is peppered with historical maps, illustrations, and photographs, and includes extensive bibliographic notes.
VERDICT Recommended for travelers interested in the history and politics of Prague.
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