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Exit into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140145494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140145496
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hoffman (Lost in Translation) recounts her travels across Eastern Europe following the fall of communism.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Hoffman, who emigrated from Poland to Canada when she was 13--an experience she recounted in her memoir, Lost in Translation ( LJ 1/89)--returned to her homeland in 1989 to witness "history in the making" in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the splintering Czechoslovakia. She talks with citizens from all walks of life (from intellectuals to workers to dissidents-cum-leaders), and her observations are fresh and thoughtful. Like Andrew Nagorski's Birth of Freedom ( LJ 9/1/93), Hoffman's book will most likely whet the appetites of readers new to Eastern Europe, while her observations on historical events will also satisfy readers familiar with the region. Unlike Nagorski, Hoffman is more introspective and tentative, making this much more an intellectually stimulating personal journey than a journalistic account. Recommended.
- Joseph Parsons, Columbia Coll., Chicago
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stoyanov on May 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
After studying the politics and history of Eastern Europe extensively as an undergraduate in college, I read this book and found it simply marvelous, for in all the history and political science books yo are given fact upon fact, but until I read this book I didn't know what it was like to actually be there. She vividly portrays the countries of the region from an ordinary person's perspective, the sights, the sounds, the feeling in the air of these countries. It can be read as an introduction to Eastern Europe, the avid student, or even the educated expert. It can also be enjoyable as simply leisure reading.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Eva Hoffman, back among her Polish homeland and other former Iron Curtained nations, offers a thoughtful look at the years just after the breakdown of the wall. Not a travelogue so much as an extended series of conversations with usually well-spoken people much like Hoffman herself. Not a book for those seeking Romany flavor, hotel mishaps, and quaint lore. She largely conveys her impressions and ideas in a style reminding me of essays for the New Yorker or the Sunday magazine of her own employer The New York Times.
Her reflections on Havel's Czech Republic, the still lurking oppressiveness of Romania post-Ceausescu, the Bulgarian-Soviet aura, and the Hungarian cynicism mesh nicely with her own Polish rather aristocratic attitudes (not by birth but by predilection?).
While the report's well-written, it does lapse into an over-reliance on the chat in the salon, so to speak, rather than on the street. You feel as if she, naturally attracted to educated dissidents for the most part, wished to relate their stories to us at the expense of a conventional tour of the countries she visits. For instance, little of Slovakia appears, and the sights she describes stick less in the mind than the ideas she ponders.
Fine, but fair warning for anyone expecting another Patrick Leigh Fermor (pre-WWII) or Brian Hall (Stealing from a Deep Place, 1988--Romania/Hungary/Bulgaria cycled through from an American's p-o-v). A useful introduction to how politics inevitably must give way to the ordinary, the human, the lived experience. Although she may differ from Havel, Hoffman provides a beneficial Western counterpart to his own thinking. 3 1/2 stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dancing Jackaroo on February 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm preparing to move to Romania, and read this book to give me an idea of the way things were over there a few years ago. I greatly enjoyed this book. It was well written, and thought-provoking. Every now and then the author would lapse into excessive use of "textbook speech", but for the most part I appreciated the way she wrote. I also appreciated the way she used various stories to get her information across. For someone with little to no interest in this area, this would not be a good book to start with. However, I found it very readable, and highly recommend it.
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