Age of Storms,

Making of a European

Published on 30 November 2018 by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London W14 5LQ. ISBN: 9781528913874, E-Book ISBN: 9781528913881, 260 pages, in Paperback and E-book editions, Available on: Amazon Books, Age of Storms, Peter Kysel.


Synopsis: “Age of Storms” is an autobiography of a boy growing up in a communist country. The book covers half a century from 1918, the year when the author’s father was born and when Czechoslovakia became independent.


The book records how the lives of individuals were moulded by historical events in Europe, from the creation of democratic Czechoslovakia, through appeasement of the Nazis, and the German occupation of Europe during WW2, the Prague uprising and its self-liberation in May 1945. It covers a brief period of freedom after the war, which ended with a communist coup d’etat in 1948 and illustrates life in a socialist country, concluding with its occupation by the Warsaw Pact armies in August 1968.

Age of Storms chronicles two generations of people from modest background prospering in democracy, suffering under the Nazis and being victimised by the Communists. In socialist Czechoslovakia persecution was automatically applied across generations. Peter had no alternative but to escape. He was forced to leave behind everyone he loved and everything he knew, to start a life in the new country.


Excerpts from Age of Storms

American Fashion Show 1965

The telephone rung at home. “Would you be interested in auditioning for an American fashion show?” My jaw dropped. An American fashion show in our neo-Stalinist homeland? The voice explained further. “The show started in Moscow as a part of a rapprochement between the superpowers and the organisers were asked to do their final...

Dance Lessons 1961

"It's happening, I am dancing, “ I thought with some amazement and satisfaction. Then I crushed my partner's shoe and nearly fell. The master's partner stepped in, to take me in hand, while the poor girl nursed her foot. I went red in face, it was embarrassing. I felt everyone in the room looked at me and saw my humiliation. As soon as...

Prologue, Early May 1958

“You are an enemy of the State,” my teacher, Comrade Novak, told me flatly. We were in a classroom at the Prague 5 Elementary School, a large, new building on the hill above Hlubocepy Village that stood as a showcase of the Communist regime. Teachers there were selected for their loyalty. Comrade Novak was the chairman of the school’s...

Brainwashed 1955

"I was proud to be selected as a red flag bearer for my pioneer unit. I was sent to the central house of pioneers to training courses where I had learnt how to carry my red flag and how to defend it, even with my own life. On a final day of our training we had laid flowers at a statue of Pavel Morozov and swore to follow his example. I...


J. Robertson

A very intersting account of life in Czechoslovakia during an ... A very intersting account of life in Czechoslovakia during an extremely difficult period, and of the Czech Diaspora after 1968.  


A good read A lively and interesting story about a family, a society and a young man's coming of age during turbulent political times. For someone who wants to know more about the history and the people of central Europe, this is invaluable.


The real "East Europe" I met Peter Kysel just after he left Czechoslovakia. I had, like most people in "the West" no idea that this quiet, decent, friendly man had been brought up in such an extremely stressful environment, when compared with our soft western society. Over the years I have got to know Eastern Europe, Russia...

Margaret Beckett

A Good Read "This is a fascinating story of everyday life under the Communist Regime in Czechoslovakia. We learn how the daily lives of ordinary people suffered, and the steps needed to be taken just to survive. I am looking forward to the next volume covering the writer, Peter Kysel's, experiences in the UK."

Theo B

Fascinating read from Peter Kysel "A brilliant book charting a remarkable period of history. Kysel is a real raconteur, Age of Storms is packed full of interesting anecdotes, and actually, despite the subject matter, a crackling sense of wit and humour. For an inside look at a topic that is not well understood enough. Whether...

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