Former Simon & Schuster chief Michael Korda, born in London to a Hungarian father, heaps praise on Enemies of the People, a “genius” new book by Kati Marton, on The Daily Beast today. Marton’s memoir is the story of her family’s struggle to survive in Hungary from the 1940s; her maternal grandparents died in Auschwitz, and her parents, both reporters for American news agencies, were targets of the Communists. Marton didn’t find out they were both Jewish until she was 30, and Korda can relate—he discovered his father was Jewish later in life. (Although for some reason he sees more of a connection to Marton, the wife of diplomat Richard Holbrooke and an ex-wife of the late ABC anchor Peter Jennings, in the fact that “we were awarded the honor of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary at the same ceremony.” That or he’s just bragging.)

Korda has particular empathy with Marton’s portrayal of her father’s coldness when she confronted him with her discovery: “How well one understands that!” he writes. It’s safe to say the “one” here is Korda, who adds that “Nobody is more sentimental about Hungary than a Hungarian who has left it behind,” and recalls “that strange patriotism assimilated Hungarian Jews have always felt for the country, the language, the culture they loved, and their inability to separate themselves from it.” Just don’t tell it to Hungarian Parliament member Oszkar Molnar, who recently said that “Jewish capital … wants to devour the entire world, especially Hungary.”

Escape from Hungary [Daily Beast]