In Central and Eastern Europe, half of all Europeans had their lives transformed by the democratic revolutions that took place in the last decade of the 20th Century.
This book is an authentic record of the period, based on the author's experiences. It is a gripping insider's account of how the protagonists transformed European society.
It is partly a historical novel, partly a 'roman a clef', in which real life is overlaid with a facade of fiction. It differs from other novels of this genre in that real names have often been retained, thus enabling the reader to understand the historical context and to follow the development of the story over the last thirty years.
The main characters are two professionals, who, hidden from public view, delivered historic changes. The novel follows their efforts to steer two countries towards becoming more just and prosperous. It is an account of the moral challenges and dangers, including intimidation, threats and attacks on their lives. Neither of the two main characters are entirely who they are perceived to be. The English Banker is a Czech refugee, whilst the English Accountant is a claimant to the Russian imperial crown. Without people like them, half the societies of Europe would have remained as decaying swamps, and the integration of Europe might never have been accomplished.
The author, Peter Kysel, was born in Prague into an entrepreneurial family towards the end of WW2. After a happy childhood, his father's fashion business became the cause of Peter's harassment by the regime. HIs earlier book, "The Age of Storms", covers the period from the declaration of Czechoslovak independence, to the Soviet occupation. Peter visited Britain on holiday in July 1968 and became a political refugee. He experienced the transformation of the City of London, and then as an investment banker, participated in the privatisations under the Thatcher administration. He returned to Czechoslovakia in January 1990, ultimately to implement the privatisation of tens of thousands of companies and to help bring about the country's transformation into a market economy.
About the Author
Peter Kysel was born towards the end of WW2. He grew up in Prague, before being exiled to Britain, a victim of the Soviet invasion in 1968. He has integrated into life in Britain, formed a strong family and professionally participated in the transformation of the City of London from a financial backwater of the nation to an internationally acclaimed powerhouse. He forged a successful career in the UK as a banker, investment expert and corporate advisor. He was only able to return to Czechoslovakia in 1990 after the fall of communism. In 1993, he was sent there by Britain with the task to assist in returning the country to a market economy after 45 years of a state-owned socialist system. Peter was appointed as the head of the investment banking of the prime bank in the country to allow him to implement his goals. On completing his task, he returned to Britain in 1994 and resides there now. Mr Kysel was an executive director of several financial institutions in London and continues to work for charitable organisations.