Eastern Europe
Featured Items
The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, Third Revised Edition
The Fall of Yugoslavia
The Third Balkan War, Third Revised Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0140257713

"Vigorous, passionate, humane, and extremely readable. . . For an account of what has actually happened. . . Glenny's book so far stands unparalleled."--The New Republic

The fall of Yugoslavia tells the whole, true story of the Balkan Crisis--and the ensuing war--for those around the world who have watched the battle unfold with a mixture of horror, dread, and confusion.

When Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence in June 1991, peaceful neighbors of four decades took up arms against each other once again and a savage war flared in the Balkans. The underlying causes go back to business left unfinished by both the Second and First World Wars.

In this acclaimed book, now revised and updated with a new chapter on the Dayton Accords and the subsequent U.S. involvement, Misha Glenny offers a sobering eyewitness chronicle of the events that rekindled the violent conflict, a lucid and impartial analysis of the politics behind them, and incisive portraits of the main personalities involved.

Above all, he shows us the human realities behind the headlines, and puts in its true, historical context one of the most ferocious civil wars of our time.
A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
A Lucky Child
A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
Paperback      ISBN: 0316339180

Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A Lucky Child. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life.

Now dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship. A Lucky Child is a book that demands to be read by all.
Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Midnight in Chernobyl
The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Paperback      ISBN: 1501134639
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
A Time Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year
2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Winner

From journalist Adam Higginbotham, the New York Times bestselling "account that reads almost like the script for a movie" (The Wall Street Journal)--a powerful investigation into Chernobyl and how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the history's worst nuclear disasters.

Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering one of the twentieth century's greatest disasters. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a "riveting, deeply reported reconstruction" (Los Angeles Times) and a definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.

"The most complete and compelling history yet" (The Christian Science Monitor), Higginbotham's "superb, enthralling, and necessarily terrifying...extraordinary" (The New York Times) book is an indelible portrait of the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will--lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth of the New Berlin
Berlin Calling
A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth of the New Berlin
Hardcover      ISBN: 162097195x
An exhilarating journey through the subcultures, occupied squats, and late-night scenes in the anarchic first few years of Berlin after the fall of the wall

Berlin Calling is a gripping account of the 1989 "peaceful revolution" in East Germany that upended communism and the tumultuous years of artistic ferment, political improvisation, and pirate utopias that followed. It's the story of a newly undivided Berlin when protest and punk rock, bohemia and direct democracy, techno and free theater were the order of the day.

In a story stocked with fascinating characters from Berlin's highly politicized undergrounds--including playwright Heiner M ller, cult figure Blixa Bargeld of the industrial band Einst rzende Neubauten, the internationally known French Wall artist Thierry Noir, the American multimedia artist Danielle de Picciotto (founder of Love Parade), and David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust incarnation--Hockenos argues that the DIY energy and raw urban vibe of the early 1990s shaped the new Berlin and still pulses through the city today.

Just as Mike Davis captured Los Angeles in his City of Quartz, Berlin Calling is a unique account of how Berlin became hip, and of why it continues to attract creative types from the world over.
On Behalf of Their Homeland: Fifty Years of Svu: an Eyewitness Account of the History of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences Svu
On Behalf of Their Homeland
Fifty Years of Svu: an Eyewitness Account of the History of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences Svu
Hardcover      ISBN: 0880336307

The Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) is a unique cultural organization established to rehabilitate Czechoslovakia's image abroad, which, in 1958, had become tarnished by communism. Founded by Czechoslovak intellectuals, SVU promotes scientific and cultural activities and has set up chapters in major cities around the world. This volume, written by one of the Society's founders, details the fascinating history of the SVU over the past fifty years.

1941: The Year That Keeps Returning
1941
The Year That Keeps Returning
Hardcover      ISBN: 1590176731

A New York Review Books Original

The distinguished Croatian journalist and publisher Slavko Goldstein says, "Writing this book about my family, I have tried not to separate what happened to us from the fates of many other people and of an entire country." 1941: The Year That Keeps Returning is Goldstein's astonishing historical memoir of that fateful year--when the Ustasha, the pro-fascist nationalists, were brought to power in Croatia by the Nazi occupiers of Yugoslavia. On April 10, when the German troops marched into Zagreb, the Croatian capital, they were greeted as liberators by the Croats. Three days later, Ante Pavelic, the future leader of the Independent State of Croatia, returned from exile in Italy and Goldstein's father, the proprietor of a leftist bookstore in Karlovac--a beautiful old city fifty miles from the capital--was arrested along with other local Serbs, communists, and Yugoslav sympathizers. Goldstein was only thirteen years old, and he would never see his father again.

More than fifty years later, Goldstein seeks to piece together the facts of his father's last days. The moving narrative threads stories of family, friends, and other ordinary people who lived through those dark times together with personal memories and an impressive depth of carefully researched historic details. The other central figure in Goldstein's heartrending tale is his mother--a strong, resourceful woman who understands how to act decisively in a time of terror in order to keep her family alive.

From 1941 through 1945 some 32,000 Jews, 40,000 Gypsies, and 350,000 Serbs were slaughtered in Croatia. It is a period in history that is often forgotten, purged, or erased from the history books, which makes Goldstein's vivid, carefully balanced account so important for us today--for the same atrocities returned to Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s. And yet Goldstein's story isn't confined by geographical boundaries as it speaks to the dangers and madness of ethnic hatred all over the world and the urgent need for mutual understanding.
The Lithuanian Conspiracy and the Soviet Collapse: Investigation Into a Political Demolition
The Lithuanian Conspiracy and the Soviet Collapse
Investigation Into a Political Demolition
Paperback      ISBN: 0998694711

Through interviews with leading participants on both sides, prominent Russian journalist Galina Sapozhnikova captures the political and human dimensions of betrayal and disillusionment that led to the collapse of the USSR, the 20th century's greatest experiment in social engineering, and what happened to the men and women who struggled to destroy or save it. Termed "color" revolutions by the worldwide media as most were designated colors, these various;movements developed in several societies in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic states during the early 2000s. In reality, they were US intelligence operations which covertly instigated, supported and infiltrated protest movements with a view to triggering regime change under the banner of a pro-democracy uprising . The objective was to manipulate elections, initiate violence, foment social unrest and use the resulting protest movement to topple an existing government in order goal to install a compliant pro-US government. How has all that worked out in Lithuania? What happened to the pro-democracy forces and to those they defeated in the aftermath? What was the role of Gorbachev? Was Eugene Sharp implicated behind the scenes in this grand show of historic transformation? What happened to the Lithuanians, who didn't agree to the USSR's dissolution? How did the political shape-shifters act; the former Komsomol and Communist Party executives, who took high posts in the new "democratic" governments? This book not only exposes the tactical stages in the process of regime change, but also sheds light on how these events play out, post regime-change, when the dust in the eyes of many has cleared. It is key to grasping the template that today underlies similar events in Libya, Syria, Ukraine and likely elsewhere, going forward. To date, this book has been published in Lithuanian, Russian and Italian.

Imperium
Imperium
Hardcover      ISBN: 0679426191

Between 1989 and 1991, Kapuscinski made a series of extended journeys through the disintegrating Soviet empire, and his account of these forms the heart of the book. Bypassing official institutions and itineraries, he traversed the Soviet territory alone, from the border of Poland to the site of the most infamous gulags in far-eastern Siberia (where "nature pals it up with the executioner"), from above the Arctic Circle to the edge of Afghanistan, visiting dozens of cities and towns and outposts, traveling more than 40,000 miles, venturing into the individual lives of men, women, and children in order to understand the collapsing but still various larger life of the empire.
Bringing the book to a close is a collection of notes which, Kapuscinski writes, "arose in the margins of my journeys" - reflections on the state of the ex-USSR and on his experience of having watched its fate unfold "on the screen of a television set ... as well as on the screen of the country's ordinary, daily reality, which surrounded me during my travels." It is this "schizophrenic perception in two different dimensions" that enabled Kapuscinski to discover and illuminate the most telling features of a society in dire turmoil.
Imperium is a remarkable work from one of the most original and sharply perceptive interpreters of our world - a galvanizing narrative deeply informed by Kapuscinski's limitless curiosity and his passion for truth, and suffused with his vivid sense of the overwhelming importance of history as it is lived, and of our constantly shifting places within it.

The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars
The House of the Dead
Siberian Exile Under the Tsars
Paperback      ISBN: 0307949265
Winner of the Cundill History Prize

The House of the Dead tells the incredible hundred-year-long story of "the vast prison without a roof" that was Russia's Siberian penal colony. From the beginning of the nineteenth century until the Russian Revolution, the tsars exiled more than a million prisoners and their families east. Here Daniel Beer illuminates both the brutal realities of this inhuman system and the tragic and inspiring fates of those who endured it. Siberia was intended to serve not only as a dumping ground for criminals and political dissidents, but also as new settlements. The system failed on both fronts: it peopled Siberia with an army of destitute and desperate vagabonds who visited a plague of crime on the indigenous population, and transformed the region into a virtual laboratory of revolution. A masterly and original work of nonfiction, The House of the Dead is the history of a failed social experiment and an examination of Siberia's decisive influence on the political forces of the modern world.
Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
Sovietistan
Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
Hardcover      ISBN: 1643133268

Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan became free of the Soviet Union in 1991. But though they are new to modern statehood, this is a region rich in ancient history, culture, and landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world.

Traveling alone, Erika Fatland is a true adventurer in every sense. In Sovietistan, she takes the reader on a compassionate and insightful journey to explore how their Soviet heritage has influenced these countries, with governments experimenting with both democracy and dictatorships.

In Kyrgyzstani villages, she meets victims of the tradition of bride snatching; she visits the huge and desolate Polygon in Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union tested explosions of nuclear bombs; she meets shrimp gatherers on the banks of the dried out Aral Sea; she witnesses the fall of a dictator.

She travels incognito through Turkmenistan, a country that is closed to journalists. She meets exhausted human rights activists in Kazakhstan, survivors from the massacre in Osh in 2010, and German Mennonites that found paradise on the Kyrgyzstani plains 200 years ago. We learn how ancient customs clash with gas production and witness the underlying conflicts between ethnic Russians and the majority in a country that is slowly building its future in nationalist colors.

Once the frontier of the Soviet Union, life follows another pace of time. Amidst the treasures of Samarkand and the brutalist Soviet architecture, Sovietistan is a rare and unforgettable adventure.