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In Quest of Nirvana

by Laszlo Szechenyi

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Publisher: Universal-Publishers
Pub date: 1999
Pages: 377
ISBN-10: 1581128274
ISBN-13: 9781581128277
Categories: HistoryHistory & BiographyHistory & Biography


In Quest of Nirvana is a vivid portrayal of the struggle for survival in the author's newly adopted country, the USA, after having been forced to flee from his native Hungary at the end of World War II.

He encounters a political haven, a free Democracy, a society where few restrictions exist, but help is available only to those who help themselves. His total loss of a lifestyle that had been comparable to "Utopia" is the reason for a difficult re-start at the lowest economic levels; a fight against all odds, facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Impoverished and degraded from the highest levels of the social elite, the author nevertheless builds upon a basis of moral strength, courage, perseverance and a lasting incentive to achieve consistently improving conditions. His goals are set high; the means by which to reach them are extremely varied, and demand an unrelenting personal drive to overcome a constant series of serious challenges.

A life-story that can only be described as fascinating. It consists of a succession of events, arrestingly told, with emphasis on the many quirks of fate rather than on the individual. A vivid presentation of a human life-span made even more realistic by numerous visual examples of important moments of the past fifty years.

This autobiography tells a true story, all the more compelling, because eventhough every detail is real, it unfolds in the style of a novel. The reader can't help but be carried along with the ups and downs of a fate rich in unusual experiences and humorous anecdotes.

To share in this review of a half-century is rewarding to those who value a summary of significant technological developments as well as taking part in a very special saga of personal evolvement.

The author's childhood in Hungary and years of hardship as a refugee in Austria had been described in the predecessor of this work entitled: VISIONS OF UTOPIA. (Laszlo Szechenyi, 1991.

About the Author

Laszlo Szechenyi was born in Hungary in 1931, the second son of a wealthy landowner.

He spent his early childhood living on the estates of his father and his grandmother in an environment which he considered "Utopia" and which, indeed, no longer exists. The splendor, peace, security, and beauty of that era influenced him for life and he always considered that lifestyle as something so exceptional that one could only contemplate it in dreams.

When he was 13 he was forced to flee the approaching Russian war front with his family, packing only the bare necessities, leaving everything else behind. The lot of a refugee from communism in a strange land was the next episode in his life until emigration to the United States of America established a new long-term home for the family.

Not speaking English well at all, he first became a night watchman in a hotel, later graduating to elevator operator. He supported his parents, little sisters and brother and constantly changed jobs, for a little more money. He was a car painter in North Carolina, drove air freight carts at La Guardia Airport, operated a lathe in a hinge factory in Brooklyn, and spent two years at sea on oil tankers before serving two years in the U.S. Army. He held numerous clerical jobs in banks while attending New York University on the G.I. Bill at night. In total, Laszlo had 21 different jobs before he was able to settle down. He has been with IBM for the last 34 years, engaged mainly in international marketing activities.

He lived in Europe and Asia for a number of years and traveled extensively on all five continents. Along with his native Hungarian he speaks German, French, English and Spanish and has a fair understanding of Italian, Dutch, and Flemish, besides three different dialects from Germany and Austria.

Today he lives in retirement in Florida with his wife. They have raised four children and have two granddaughters and a grandson as well.

He considers himself a true internationalist and is actively supporting the re-building of his devastated country of birth, Hungary.