For the Children

A Cold War Escape Story

Non-Fiction - Biography
218 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2015
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Author Biography

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza Tatrallyay escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, immigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, where he was School Captain. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology in 1972 (after taking a break in his studies to work as a host in the Ontario Pavilion at Expo’70 in Osaka, Japan). Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA/MA in Human Sciences in 1974; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics and Politics in 1975. Geza represented Canada as an épée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Geza’s professional experience has included stints in government, international organizations, finance and environmental entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he has essentially been semi-retired, managing a few investments mainly in the clean energy sector and devoting himself to his family and his writing. Geza is a citizen of Canada and Hungary, with an American wife, a daughter living in New York and a son in Nairobi, and currently divides his time between Bordeaux, France, and Barnard, Vermont.

Geza Tatrallyay has written a number of books, including a collection of poetry (Cello's Tears), a thriller (Twisted Reasons), an e-thriller (Arctic Meltdown), and as well some of his poems and articles have been published in various journals.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Fiza Pathan for Readers' Favorite

For the Children: A Cold War Escape Story by Geza Tatrallyay is a suspenseful biography of the author’s family’s escape or odyssey first to Austria and then to Canada from Hungary, in the crucial year of 1956. For the Children is a rich book of historical facts of the dangers that a family during those troubled times underwent just to escape from a claustrophobic political and social environment…all for the love of their children. Tatrallyay’s mother and father wanted a better life for their three children and so decided to leave their native land of Hungary, which was so dear to them, to travel to a foreign land to start afresh. For the Children is a biography of courage, determination and tenacity even during the most awful situations. It is one of the best books of a grand escape during the Cold War years that I have ever read.

Tatrallyay also weaves into his narrative a bit of history of the political situation of that era, which makes it more informative. I highly recommend For the Children to all students of history and political science who are studying the times and conditions of the lives of everyday citizens in Europe after the Second World War. Tatrallyay’s book is engaging and impressive, I simply could not put it down. The narrative is gripping. The characters are the cornerstones of this biography. Their courage and willpower, especially that of Tatrallyay’s mother, are extraordinary and out of this world. The descriptions are graphic and the book is a real page turner. It tends to seep under your skin and suddenly you feel that you are the one trying to escape the tyranny of a communist power, which looms in the background of the biography like a cobra. Tatrallyay is an intellectual writer and meticulous in his work. It is remarkable to me to believe what he had to go through at the age of seven to get out of his own homeland alive. This biography is a must-read.