Beloved ABC broadcaster and bestselling author of Ghost Empire and Saga Land, Richard Fidler is back with a personally curated history of the magical city that is Prague.
In 1989, Richard Fidler was living in London as part of the provocative Australian comedy trio The Doug Anthony All Stars when revolution broke out across Europe. Excited by this galvanising, historic moment, he travelled to Prague, where a decrepit police state was being overthrown by crowds of ecstatic citizens. His experience of the Velvet Revolution never let go of him.
30 years later, Fidler returns to Prague to uncover the glorious and grotesque history of Europe's most instagrammed and uncanny city - a jumble of gothic towers, baroque palaces and zig-zag lanes that has survived plagues, pogroms, Nazi terror and Soviet tanks. Founded in the 9th century, Prague gave the world the golem, the robot and the world's biggest statue of Stalin, a behemoth that killed almost everyone who touched it.
Fidler tells the story of the reclusive emperor who brought the world's most brilliant minds to Prague Castle to uncover the occult secrets of the universe. He explores the Black Palace, the wartime headquarters of the Nazi SS, and meets victims of the communist secret police. Reaching back into Prague's mythic past, he finds the city's founder - the pagan priestess Libussa who prophesised: "I see a city whose glory will touch the stars."
Following the story of Prague from its origins in medieval darkness to its uncertain present, Fidler does what he does so well - curates an absolutely engaging and compelling history of a place. You learn things you never knew with a tour guide who is erudite, inquisitive and the best storyteller you could possibly have as your companion.
PRAISE FOR GHOST EMPIRE:
'Fidler displays great charm in the telling of his tale, spicing it with delicious gossip.' - New York Times Book Review
'... thanks to the stylish cleverness of an exceptionally curious and talented man, we can feast on what strange magic the city brought - and still brings today - to the world beyond. I am speechless with admiration.' - Simon Winchester
'Fidler's story leaves its readers with a sense of faith in the renewing, illuminating, social powers of historical narrative.' - Sydney Morning Herald
Richard Fidler presents 'Conversations with Richard Fidler', an in-depth, up-close-and-personal interview program broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio. It is one of the most popular podcasts in Australia, with over five million downloaded programs every month. Richard is the author of the bestselling book Ghost Empire.