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How We Survived Communism & Even Laughed Paperback – April 9, 1993
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From Library Journal
- Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ.-Erie
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I keep hearing and reading about what an "eye-opener" this book has been for readers in Western countries. That is all well and fine; many of the things she describes are valid information.
The problem is that this book, by empathizing (and rightly so) with the everday noodle-and-darning plight of "sisters" in other so-called Communist regimes (all of whom had a MUCH harder time than we in the former Yugoslavia ever did) tends to blur not only the HUGE political and social nuances and distinctions among the various "Communist" countries, but also inside ex-Yugoslavia itself. In short, the so-called Communist "block" was never really a "block" - it was a tapestry of many nuances and textures, depending on the country.
Admittedly, I belong to a different generation than Ms. Drakuliæ. Furthermore, I was born and grew up in the northern part of the country, called Slovenia (now, an independent state), which was, incidentally, the "richest" part of Yugoslavia. (And BTW: I don't recall any of her interlocutors in the book being a Slovene... Why not? Maybe because the situation in Slovenia wouldn't fit in with the utterly dismal picture that she is painting?)
Here are some facts: often, there were (usually short-term) shortages of different things: sugar, bananas, chocolate, detergent... I even remember a shortage of toilet paper, once. But never all at the same time, and never for very long. We never queued, like the unfortunate peoples of the Soviet satellite states. I for one DID have dolls, very pretty ones (no, NOT rag dolls) - 18 of them!Read more ›
The other thing that makes this book extremely worthwhile is that it continues to bring home the difference between Eastern Europe and the West. As a woman from the US, it was impossible for me to conceive of and understand these women's experiences, and where those experiences have brought them today. It becomes very easy, in the interests of simplification, to essentialize the experiences of all european women, or all white women. This book shows us that it is not that simple, or easy, or fair, to do so.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gets a little repetitive but I do recommend it to many people -- even if they read only a few chapters now and then, there are lessons to be learnedPublished 6 months ago by Marianne G Cole
Easy, accessible account of living under communism during the 80s. This book mostly struck me with details like toilet paper being difficult to procure, things like that. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ziln
A great combination of first hand experiences and interviews by a woman, mother and journalist. Copyright date of 1991 I found is a real plus since experiences were very recent.Published 13 months ago by book lover
I have read a lot of books and this one has to be one of the best I have ever read. Originally assigned as reading for a class covering the history of women in Europe, I thoroughly... Read morePublished 14 months ago by courtney42095
I had to read this book as part of a class assignment.
Among the six books I read for the aforementioned class, this one was by far the worst. Read more
It was a nice book. Really interesting to read about a different time and land. Thanks!Published 15 months ago by Sarah D. Whitby