A New Account of Britain’s Economic Development

Book review:

Broadberry, Stephen, Bruce M. S. Campbell, Alexander Klein, Mark Overton, and Bas van Leeuwen. British Economic Growth, 1270-1870. Cambridge: CUP, 2015. 461 pages. ISBN 978-1-107-67649-7. Pbk. £25.

Travel Writing and the Integration of East-Central Europe: John Paget’s Hungary and Transylvania

John Paget’s travelogue from 1839, Hungary and Transylvania; with Remarks on their Condition, Social, Political, and Economical, makes a clear distinction between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Principality of Transylvania, both under Austrian rule at the time, and the rest of Eastern Europe. In terms of the variety and depth of the descriptions of the social, political, and economic conditions in the East-CentralEuropean country and province, Paget’s comprehensive and objective text stands out from the travelogues written about the region in the nineteenth century. This essay demonstrates that Hungary and Transylvania reveals the author’s intention to rediscover the history and culture of a neglected European nation who have attempted for centuries, successfully, and often unsuccessfully, to orient their politics toward the West rather than the East. It suggests that despite the occasional colonial discourse, Paget’s travelogue is an attempt to economically, politically, and culturally promote the integration of Hungary and Transylvania into the more “civilized” West. (MP)

Eugene Havas and an Early Attempt at Personal Diplomacy to Normalize US-Hungarian Relations, 1960-1964

After the fall of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence, communist Hungary had struggled to break out of diplomatic isolation. The government formed by Secretary General of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár had not been recognized by the Western powers, including the United States of America. American- Hungarian bilateral relations, therefore, were rather strained, and before the restitution of Hungary’s full status in the United Nations Organization, the US minimized the communication between the two countries. To change this, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Service working under the aegis of the Ministry of Internal Affairs endeavored to engage expatriates—more or less famous or well-known professionals who still had some family connection to Hungary—as amateur gobetweens and semi-assets in order to find channels of communication with the American political elite and thus, via personal diplomacy, foster better relations between the two countries. The essay discusses the case of Eugene Havas (1899-1967), American economic expert and journalist of Hungarian decent. The representatives of the Kádár regime had great expectations towards him as an intermediary, this notwithstanding, as the essay will conclusively demonstrate the effect of Havas’s activities remained rather limited. (IP)