Complementing Szulc's more intensive look at the '68 invasion, this background book stresses the cultural and economic differences between Slovakia and the more prosperous Czech provinces of Moravia, Bohemia and Silesia and traces the development of the nationalist movement which united Czechs and Slovaks in opposition to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The tourist's eye view of present day Czechoslovakia is more frivolous, centering around the food (""the kind. . . that tastes best in cold or rainy weather""), vowel-less tongue-twisters (""strc prst skrz krk"") and famous landmarks. But the historical narrative is effectively humanized and relevant, and the author's love of the Czech language and literature is evident throughout.