This book is a primer, constructed in
a plain fashion, with few words and many drawings. The simple
format is appropriate, for the message of Red Primer
for Children and Diplomats is crystal clear: Those
who do not read history are condemned to repeat it.
The author (he is both artist and writer) is Victor Vashi, who was a political cartoonist for one of Budapest's leading newspapers, 8 Irai Ujsag. He is familiar with revolution. He lived through both the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Hungary.
Mr. Vashi received a thorough education in Communism, learning in the process that the classes held in different Russian prison camps were most uncomfortable. He turned down the suggestion of the Soviets that he continue his studies, "tip-toed" across the border into Austria, and eventually made his way to the United States.
Most of the cartoons in this book are appearing for the first time [in the book not the web site] Some however, have appeared in European and American newspapers, including Salzburger Nachrichten of Salzburg, Austria, Wiener Kurier of Vienna, Hungaria of Munich, Emigrains Szabad Szaj of Paris, Paraat of Amsterdam, Magyarsag of Pittsburg, Kepes Magyar Magazin of New York, The Machinist and Machinist Journal of Washington, D.C. and Federation of Hungarian Former Political Prisoners in New York.
Mr. Vashi has done a truly remarkable job of capturing the essential spirit of that "glorious" October Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath. Many children have never been told what actually happened, and someof their elders, particularly diplomats and politicians, have apparently forgotten certain events. We trust that both children and diplomats, and even a few politicians, will learn something along the way as they study this primer.
On to the book!!