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Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe
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Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this intimate narrative journey, Hoffman returns to her Polish homeland and five other countries--Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the two nations of the former Czechoslovakia--to vividly portray a landscape in the midst of change. "Alert and intuitive."--The Washington Post. Author readings.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Penguin Books (first published October 1st 1993)
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Jun 23, 2009 Velvetink rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book, though thought the intro chapter could have been an afterword. Excellent to get an idea of what it was like immed after the cold war ended in Eastern Europe. Loved the personal interviews and thoughts from people the author met on her travels.
Jul 10, 2013 Travelin rated it really liked it
I should really rate this lower for putting the idea into my addled young head that Bulgaria was an intellectual paradise, to visit or even to live. It's not the view of people from the new Bulgaria, so Ms. Hoffman's analysis of the positive effects of communism on creative life may not have quite described the Bulgarian politicos she praises. Still, I'm grateful she didn't spend the whole book fawning over Polish preeminence either.
Nov 20, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it
After the precipitate fall of the Communist governments of Eastern Europe almost exactly twenty years ago, a whole new genre of post-Communist tourism was born almost overnight. There was Timothy Garton Ash, with his excellent The History of the Present, which surveyed the whole ground even as it shifted, from East Berlin to Yugoslavia. Then a few Eastern Europeans themselves got into the act: Croatian-born Slavenka Drakulic with her illuminating Cafe Europa and now Polish-born Eva Hoffman with ...more
Jun 28, 2008 Ellen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Communism or Eastern European history
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed this book about Eastern Europe, post-Communism. The author, Eva Hoffman, visited Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria in 1990 and then again in 1991, and this book is her travel memories and her impressions of the political, economic, and social changes occurring then at breakneck pace.

The book really improved as the author moved away from the familiar (Poland, where she grew up, and to a lesser extent, Czechoslovakia) and into unknown territory. I felt the part about
Jan 08, 2014 Aurora rated it really liked it
Such a great book. It's not a literary classic or anything, but it's pretty imperative reading for anyone that has any curiosity about history, especially in Eastern Europe. Hoffman travels back to the country of her birth, Poland, right after liberation from the Soviets in 1989 and again a year later.

If Hoffman wrote this now, it would probably be pushed as a memoir. And it would lose much for that. Hoffman does talk about her own experience growing up in the country and what happens to her in
Jul 26, 2016 Chris rated it liked it
Most surprising for her and for me was the chapter on Bulgaria — with its high European and folk Balkan cultures.
Oct 05, 2016 Art rated it it was amazing
The first chapter sets the tone of what life was like in 1990, in post-USSR world. Hard to imagine but there are conversations had with people experiencing a change to the status quo not unlike one might suffer from during the after effects of a catastrophic natural event.
Mar 22, 2010 Maura rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic, travel
finally hitting the big 3-0. i blame thicky and all the New X-Men graphic novels he threw at me.

this is a good travelogue of a woman who grew up in Poland, emigrated to the US, and then went back to visit Poland, and 4 other countries in Eastern Europe right after the end of the Cold War. It's a great viewpoint on a time/place that i've honestly not read much about before.
Aug 06, 2008 Gage rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I couldn't finish reading this book. The book sounded really interesting and should have been considering the topic, but I struggled through the first 3 sections and finally gave up because it was so hard to get into. I wish it would have been better because I really wanted to learn about what the fall of communism was like since I'm traveling in these countries now.
Aug 26, 2007 bitterpale marked it as to-read
Left over from a Poli Sci class at uni. It was an optional read for the class and I never did it but held onto it to eventually read.
Jun 23, 2009 Emma rated it liked it
A little bit dense, dark and slow at parts but what do you expect in a book about the Soviet legacy!
Jun 16, 2010 John rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, history
The politics got a bit dense in spots, but the travel narrative aspect worked well.
Aug 01, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in Easter Europe
A very well written travelogue across Eastern Europe right as the iron curtain fell.
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Eva Hoffman is a writer and academic. She was born Ewa Wydra July 1, 1945 in Cracow, Poland after her Jewish parents survived the Holocaust by hiding in the Ukraine. In 1959, during the Cold War, the thirteen years old Eva, her nine years old sister "Alinka" and her parents immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where her name has been changed to Eva. Upon graduating from high school she received a scho ...more
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