Enemies of the People offers insights into a time and place largely unfamiliar to most Americans. And though my own interest in this subject was heightened by a recent visit to Hungary – during which I gained some understanding of its history – I was surprised to learn how very little I really knew.
I found myself reading and rereading passages, trying to absorb them – not because they were ill-written (they’re not; the book is written with a journalist’s incisive finesse), but because what is recorded seemed so unbelievable. True, I wasn’t interested in all the detailed minutia that Marton includes to support her account, and I was surprised to find a journalist lapsing often into self-conscious sentimentality – a hazard, I suppose, of writing about a painful subject so near to one’s heart. I did appreciate, however, the abundance of family photos, which help to tell the tale – many of which Morton obtained from AVO files.
I suspect that even those familiar with Cold War Europe will find something to intrigue them in these pages. Marton’s memoir is by turn gut-wrenching and eye-opening, and most readers will find it worth a peek.