It seems that many of my writer friends are busy publishing these days. In recent blogs, I’ve talked about books by Lillian Lincoln Lambert, as well as Jim Rosapepe and Sheilagh Kast. This week, I finished a provocative book by one of my newest friends, Peter Hruby, a distinguished historian.
Peter and I have a couple of things in common. Both of us escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia in 1948, and both of us now live in or near Annapolis, Maryland. Where our stories diverge is in the period between those two end points. Whereas I came to America, via refugee camps, soon after our escape, Peter spent the majority of his life in exile in Australia. His book, Dangerous Dreamers: the Australian Anti-democratic Left and Czechoslovak Agents reveals a little-known saga of the Cold War.
While living Down Under during the period of the east-west struggle, Peter was dismayed by the activities and provocations of Australian leftists, such as Wilfred Burchett and Ian Millner. They, and many of their leftist comrades — the “dangerous dreamers” — worked toward turning Australia into another state under the domination of the Soviet Union. Following the Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia opened up the archives of its Communist secret police. Hruby went to Prague and spent many weeks combing the records which showed the connection between Czechoslovak Communists and their Australian cohorts, and their joint efforts to subvert a democratic government and society. Chilling!
If you’re interested in a little-known aspect of the Cold War, you’ll find Dangerous Dreamers both fascinating and disturbing. I recommend it highly. It is available from http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/.