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A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia Paperback – January 15, 1996

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Crowe, a historian and scholar who has previously edited a collection of conference papers on this topic, places the Gypsy experience within the context of the development of six nations-Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Yugoslavia. Crowe has extensively documented his study, relying upon standard histories, documents, and recently identified sources from the region in many languages. He seeks to present both the contribution of the Gypsies to each nation examined as well as the prejudice they experienced there. He makes the point that until Gypsies are treated more fairly, mistrust between them and other citizens will continue to block their integration into national life. This useful work has a place in regional and larger collections.
Rena Fowler, Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"David Crowe's new history, the culmination of a decades prodigious and painstaking multilingual research, is the most comprehensive and indispensable of its kind in English." --Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312129467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312129460
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,705,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amber Hansford on September 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Though for my research this book was a bit slim (dealing in pre-1600's) this book is wonderful for anyone interested in the Roma people who populate Eastern Europe. Dealing with both the beautiful and the ugly side of human nature, this book captures how the Roma live and have lived in Eastern Europe and Russia throughout history.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This fascinating survey of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia offers histories of all the important communities in the East including in Bulgaria, Czechslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Russia and Yugoslavia. Obviously other Gypsy communities are left out, such as those in Greece, Albania and Turkey. But such is life, the book stands alone nonetheless.

Each chapter is a veritable encyclopedia of Gypsy life. For instance on Bulgaria the book describes how Gypsy women refused to don the Muslim veil forced upon Muslim women after the Turkish colonization of Eastern Europe. The book is packed full of data and demographics. For instance we learn that in 1910 there were 120,000 Roma listed on the census and in 1930 the estimate was 140,000. Muslim Gypsies were forcibly expelled from Bulgaria after the war. The book details the various anti-Gypsy laws that existed from Turkish times to the era of fascism and Communism. Usually disguised as `anti-nomadism' laws the target was obvious.

In Czechslovakia the Roma worked as castle musicians and metal workers in the 16th century. In 1780 there were 43,000 Roma in Slovakia. In addition the Gypsys of Slovakia survived the war because of the intervention of the Slovak leader Jozef Tiso and his desire, despite being an ally of Hitler, to have his country free of Nazism. Roma in enighbouring lands were not so luck and the Holocaust destroyed many communities.

In Rumania, long home to one of the largest concentrations of Roma they totaled according to estimates almost half a million or 2% of the population in 1977. In 1992 some claimed there were 2.2 million Gypsies a total of 10% of the population of the country.

In Yugoslavia the Gypsies were part of a patchwork of nationalities that hated one another.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By on December 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is the most comperhensive work on Gypsies today. Anyone intrested in Gypsies and their origins should check this out.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FYI on June 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent overview and introduction to the traumatic history of the Gypsy, or Roma, population. This volume is more of a demographic study than an anthropological examination of Gypsy beliefs, culture, or spirituality. Sadly, many of the exhaustive and extensive sources that the author translated contain racist aspersions and ugly stereotypes of the Gypsies. The Roma were actually bought and sold as slaves throughout Eastern Europe and Russia, and even churches participated in this, as these refugees, originally from Northern India, were viewed complete outsiders, damned.

If there was ever a people who suffered at least as badly for centuries as Jews did in these countries before, during, and after World War II, it was this population, which Crowe exhaustively documents here. This book is a good source for initial research, and as a way to access obscure and previously untranslated materials. For scholars, or someone who shares Gypsy heritage, like myself, researching this culture, heritage, and belief systems from the inside, this is a good and necessary beginning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By discriminating damsel on May 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really good history but a little lacking in the cultural aspect of their way of life. It would have been nice to have a bit more on this.
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