Title: From Utopia to the American Dream
Author: John Czingula
Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction
Year Published: October 23, 2021
Date Started: March 2, 2023
Date finished: March 7, 2023
This is a memoir about John Czingula, the author of the book. It follows him through childhood in his home country of Hungary to the United States. The focus on the memoir is John’s ambition to become successful in his endeavors. His father inspired him to be the best and to never give up and that stuck with him.
Through war torn Hungary from WW1 through to WW2, John and his family lived in fear. His father refused to join the communist party and thus John followed in his father’s footsteps in avoiding any confrontation or push to join the party. Communism, as it should be, was not what it really was. On the outside, it looked perfect and pristine, but the reality of it was not so. For John and his family (and a lot of other Hungarians) the party and its belief worked against them. John had a lot of ambitions. There was so much he wanted to do but communism wouldn’t allow him any of his success. He yearned to experience life in America where he’d heard he’d be able to do whatever he wanted without politics stopping him at every point. The way to America was not an easy one, especially during war, but John persevered. He took chances to escape his home country. With some luck he made it to America successfully.
John didn’t live in a dream world. He knew the good and the bad of America, but compared to communism, America was freedom in both mind and opportunities. John’s story is about overcoming fears and never giving up. There were times in his life when things were so bad that he was at a lost, but he didn’t let those moments take him down. He kept going. He became a successful business owner, actor, and pilot. He came from a place where dreams were stomped on to a place where a single idea could create massive success.
I’m so glad to have read John’s story because I can relate to a lot of his experiences. I liked that he looked up to America and saw the beauty of it and the ability to succeed. I see America the same way and it’s a great feeling to know that there are still people out there who believe in this country. Btw, John mentioned goulash a couple of times and it made me crave it (I’m not Hungarian though but have made my own version of it many times and have also had it at a restaurant). Love it when a book does that!
Who should read this book: Anyone who enjoys a memoir about war and overcoming the harshness of communism and realizing what freedom really is.