ABOUT THIS BOOK
“Rich in humor, confidence men, and charm."—New York Times
Known for his best-selling military histories, Ladislas Farago also wrote a witty tribute to his homeland, Strictly from Hungary. Noting that Hungary has produced some of the world's most renowned artists, scientists, and financiers as well as its share of world-class con-artists, charlatans, and rakes, Farago sets out to explain just how one tiny country can be responsible for so much talent, both good and bad. Using stories from his days as a struggling writer in the bustling café scenes of Budapest and New York City, Farago demonstrates the Hungarian knack for remaining irrepressible and optimistic even in the face of catastrophe. Here we meet Zoltan, a fellow Bohemian who presents his astonished benefactor with a play "about nothing," a theme later made famous by another writer of Hungarian descent, Jerry Seinfeld. Farago also introduces us to "Baby Kiss," a vivacious Hungarian beauty queen, and the story of how she ended up in Fort Worth, Texas; Orkeny, a double agent for America at the height of the Cold War who "spiced up" his reports to keep everyone happy, and the author's own experience getting mustered into the supposedly non-existent Royal Hungarian Army. Farago's reminiscence validates what most Hungarians believe: that Hungary is the center of the world and that everyone has some connection to the land of the Magyars. In that spirit, Farago learns that George Washington himself was "strictly from Hungary." This edition is introduced by the author's son, who shows that the same vibrant spirit described by his father remains the hallmark of the Hungarian temperament.