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Extended Audio Sample The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World Audiobook, by Kati Marton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (155 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kati Marton Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2006 ISBN: 9781400173099
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The stunning story of the breathtaking journey of nine extraordinary men from Budapest to the new world, what they experienced along their dangerous route, and how they changed America and the world.

In a style both personal and historically groundbreaking, acclaimed author Kati Marton (herself born in Budapest) tells the tale of their youth in Budapest’s Golden Age of the early twentieth century, their flight, and their lives of extraordinary accomplishment, danger, glamour, and poignancy.

Marton follows these nine over the decades as they flee fascism and anti-Semitism, seek sanctuary in America and England, and set out to make their mark. The scientists Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, and Eugene Wigner enlist Albert Einstein to get Franklin Roosevelt to initiate the development of the atomic bomb. Along with John von Neuman, who pioneers the computer, they succeed in achieving that goal before Nazi Germany, ending the Second World War, and opening a new age.

Arthur Koestler writes the most important anti-Communist novel of the century, Darkness at Noon. Robert Capa is the first photographer ashore on D-Day. He virtually invents photojournalism and gives us some of the century’s most enduring records of modern warfare.

Andre Kertesz pioneers modern photojournalism, and Alexander Korda, who makes propaganda films for Churchill, leaves the stark portrait of a post-war Europe with The Third Man, as his fellow filmmaker, Michael Curtiz, leaves us the immortal Casablanca, a call to arms and the most famous romantic film of all time.

Marton brings passion and breadth to these dramatic lives as they help invent the twentieth century.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 CJ | 2/16/2014

    " An amazing academic account of the lives of some of the world's most amazing minds, but a slow read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shauna Elias | 2/7/2014

    " I'm still deciding whether this is a 3 or 4. Each of the featured individuals could certainly merit their own book. The fascinating question that I am left with at the end is if the type of creativity and drive these 9 individuals had could be found in future generations. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim Heimbuch | 2/4/2014

    " This was a real difficult read to get into. I was expecting to read about the life altering journeys of these nine men as they escaped the hands of the Hitler regime, but it just never really happened. It spent most of the time talking about the Hungarian lifestyle, the entertainment business such as film and production as well as photography and also a lot about famous people such as Einstein and movie actors long since dead. Although this in itself might have been an interesting read to many, I was really looking for the plight of freedom from the German devastation. One thing is correct though, the people in this book definitely left their impact on this world, but it could have been written better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence | 2/2/2014

    " I am intrigued by the cultured existance Jewish people had in Europe before the Nazis came to power. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/16/2014

    " (Alexander Korda, Michael Curtiz, Arthur Koestler, Robert Capa, Andre Kertesz, Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner and John von Neumann) To be honest I know next to nothing about Hungarian history, but I found this group of men fascinating. Each one was driven and brilliant, but important for this story, and for the events of World War II, they were politically sophisticated and very pessimistic about the fate of Jews in Europe. As a group they were not so much forced out of Europe as they were quick to leave before the communists or fascists took over. Hungary had a very early taste of Soviet communism and police state fascism just after World War I. Years before the Germans experienced hyper inflation, when Hitler was almost unknown, Hungary's governments in 1919 revealed the disturbing possibilities of the two great political systems that would mark the 20th century. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 1/12/2014

    " Thank You Kati Marton for writing this fascinating book. Reading about the the triumphs and the struggles of these great men was inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debra | 1/9/2014

    " Fascinating look at Budapest and its Jewish inhabitants. How they secularized themselves and tried become non-Jews. The anti-Semitism that occurred and the resulting escape from that climate of the great minds of the time. These nine Jews touched many aspects of 20th century history. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 12/29/2013

    " A really interesting book about 9 Hungarians who excelled in art and science and shapped American history. Also a great history lesson on both World Wars. An excellent read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sheila | 12/26/2013

    " Very interesting. Took me awhile to read this, but I learned a lot about this period of history and about these men. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joel | 12/4/2013

    " the portrait of Budapest prior to WW1 was fascinating. Interesting stories, a little hard to keep them all straight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 12/4/2013

    " Good, solid, and entertaining writing about a time in history and a people: the Hungarians. But especially these Hungarians. The writing is so good, I actually got a feel for the time and place and personalities. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathee | 11/25/2013

    " A gripping drama of nine men who fled their beloved home country (and city), to change the world as we know it today. Kat Marton brought wonderful life to these already colorful characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carine | 8/27/2013

    " Fascinating history and well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil Chenevert | 7/6/2013

    " From photography and motion pictures to mathematics and physics, these brilliant men and their truly amazing accomplishments are well portrayed in this (long) book. MP3 from Overdrive. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mique Frain | 8/29/2012

    " Didn't like it as much as I wanted to. =( "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 8/26/2012

    " Interesting but text booky "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suesantaylor | 7/26/2012

    " Just finished "Enemies of the People" not dreaming that this could be as good, if not better. But it is. Marton is a terrific writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tibor | 7/7/2012

    " Interesting facts, especially for people interested in Hungary, Jewish contribution to the worlds and the Carpathian area. I thought it is not that well written, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judson Mitchell | 1/19/2012

    " Not quite as good as Marton's other effort on similar subject matter, Enemies of the People, but still thoroughly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judson | 1/18/2011

    " Not quite as good as Marton's other effort on similar subject matter, Enemies of the People, but still thoroughly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 7/22/2010

    " A really interesting book about 9 Hungarians who excelled in art and science and shapped American history. Also a great history lesson on both World Wars. An excellent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tibor | 2/28/2010

    " Interesting facts, especially for people interested in Hungary, Jewish contribution to the worlds and the Carpathian area. I thought it is not that well written, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suesantaylor | 1/18/2010

    " Just finished "Enemies of the People" not dreaming that this could be as good, if not better. But it is. Marton is a terrific writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shaunaelias | 10/18/2009

    " I'm still deciding whether this is a 3 or 4. Each of the featured individuals could certainly merit their own book. The fascinating question that I am left with at the end is if the type of creativity and drive these 9 individuals had could be found in future generations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 4/14/2009

    " Excellent, especially for people interested in history and Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
    I did not hear about most of these nine people. I learned a lot about a very talented generation and about the few that survived the Nazi destruction.
    Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 2/22/2009

    " Liked it - found it hard to keep track of all the different personalities - especially at first.
    I had heard of the film directors/producers, but not of the other men. Very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence | 11/13/2008

    " I am intrigued by the cultured existance Jewish people had in Europe before the Nazis came to power. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc | 9/26/2008

    " Good, solid, and entertaining writing about a time in history and a people: the Hungarians. But especially these Hungarians. The writing is so good, I actually got a feel for the time and place and personalities. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Boredlaura | 4/16/2008

    " Although interesting, there're too many individual stories of the nine men and not enough depth. A lot of things seem glossed over, as if this entire book is simply an introduction to a bigger text. "

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About the Author

Kati Marton is the author of several books, including Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and the subject of an upcoming motion picture; The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World; and the New York Times bestseller Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History among others. She is an award-winning former correspondent for NPR and ABC News. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.