Goodbye Eastern Europe: An Intimate History of a Divided Land (Hardback)Jacob Mikanowski (author)
Wonderfully entertaining and genuinely enlightening, Mikanowski's heartfelt tribute to the peoples of Eastern Europe dispels stereotypes and subverts received wisdom in every chapter.
In the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, the bonds forged between twenty nations under the sway of the Red Star have dissolved. What exactly united them in the first place?
Eastern Europe is more than the sum total of its annexations, invasions and independence declarations. From the Baltics to the Balkans, from Prague to Kiev, the area exuded a tragicomic character like no other.
This is a paean for a disappearing world of movable borders, sacred groves and syncretism. And an invitation to not forget.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 34 mm
'A highly captivating book that delights on every page and dispels the "damaging stereotypes" and "dour connotations" traditionally associated with Eastern Europe. Far more than a simple history, Goodbye Eastern Europe is a magical swan song to an astonishingly diverse but disappearing world of peasants and poets, resilience and romance, calamity and fantasy, where a shared affinity for the absurd has long been essential for survival.' - Rebecca Lowe, author of The Slow Road to Tehran
'This wonderful book is a firework display: an unforgettable flash of forgotten past... Mikanowski shows that the vast regions between Germany and Russia are not just a zone of blood and tragedy, but of marvellous human vigour and resilience.' - Neal Ascherson, author of The Black Sea
'Do not rush to bid farewell to eastern Europe until reading this book. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this very personal story of the place that one can't find on the map pays tribute to the origins of the experiences, cultures and ideas that continue to shape political and ideological battles of the modern world.' - Serhii Plokhy, author of The Last Empire
'A rich, counterintuitive history told with flair, Goodbye Eastern Europe is both a tour of an often-misunderstood part of the world and an examination of political fault lines that continue to shape our lives today.' - Daniel Trilling, author of Light in the Distance
'Jacob Mikanowski has taken on the seemingly impossible task of writing a comprehensive history of that "Other" Europe, hoping to catch a myriad of vanishing worlds. My initial scepticism was quickly dispelled. Goodbye Eastern Europe succeeds in delighting even a jaded follower of matters East European like me. It is a richly informative and readable book which starts with the Dark Ages and ends with our own even darker era, ranging from the Baltics to the Balkans and covering an enormous swathe of land, describing the ever shifting frontiers and changing nationalities in the course of a historical narrative as vibrant as the area it describes.' - Vesna Goldsworthy, author of Iron Curtain
'Ambitious... a stunning portrait of a "land of small states with complicated fates". Shot through with lyrical reflections and astute analysis, this is a rewarding portrait of a diverse and complex part of the world.' - Publishers Weekly
'Goodbye Eastern Europe is a collective portrait of people, places, states and ideas, most of which no longer exist. Beautifully written and witty, it presents the region as a place full of magic, vibrancy, diversity, conflict and coexistence. Mikanowski blends together reality and myth, poetry and historical research, personal experience and ideologies to revive and bring us back the civilisation that was lost during the calamitous twentieth century but that is still crucial to Eurasian history.' - Eugene Finkel, Kenneth H. Keller Associate Professor of International Affairs
'With the war in Ukraine, Eastern Europe is once again helping to determine the world's future, as it did at several key moments in the twentieth century. Yet for all its historical importance and cultural richness, the region remains a blank on many outsiders' mental maps. In this dramatic and wide-ranging book, Jacob Mikanowski makes Eastern Europe come to life by rooting its history in individual human stories, showing how diverse peoples lived together from the Middle Ages to the Holocaust and beyond.' - Adam Kirsch
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