Catalogue


The taste of ashes : the afterlife of totalitarianism in Eastern Europe /
Marci Shore.
imprint
London : William Heinemann, 2013.
description
xiv, 370 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0434022306 (hbk), 9780434022304 (hbk)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
London : William Heinemann, 2013.
isbn
0434022306 (hbk)
9780434022304 (hbk)
abstract
'The Taste of Ashes' spans from Berlin to Moscow, moving from Vienna in Europe's west through Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest to Vilnius and Kiev in the post-communist east. The result is a shimmering literary examination of the ghost of communism - no longer Marx's 'spectre to come' but a haunting presence of the past.
catalogue key
8830246
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
#145;Eastern Europe is special. It is Europe, only more so. It is a place where people live and die, only more so. A place between the West and Russia where the past is palpable, and heavy. The past is also merciless: by history#146;s caprice, here the Second World War and Communism were inseparable historical traumas, one bleeding into the other... In twentieth-century Eastern Europe tragedy was endemic.#146; In The Taste of Ashes,Yale historian and prize-winning author Marci Shore illuminates the afterlife of totalitarianism in Eastern Europe. Moving from Berlin to Moscow, from Vienna in Europe#146;s west to Kiev in the post-communist east, this is a shimmering literary examination of the ghost of communism -- no longer Marx#146;s #145;spectre to come#146; but a presence now haunting the region. Marci Shore builds her history around the people she came to know over the course of the two decades since communism came to an end in Eastern Europe: her colleagues and friends, once-communists and once-dissidents, the accusers and the accused, the interrogators and the interrogated, one generation after another.For them, the post-communist moment has not closed but rather has summoned up the past.The end of communism had a dark side.As Shore pulls the reader into her journey of discovery, reading the archival records of people who are themselves confronting the traumas of former lives, she reveals the intertwining of the personal and the political, of love and cruelty, of intimacy and betrayal. The result is a lyrical, expansive and sometimes heartbreaking portrayal of how history moves and what history means.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Marci Shore has written a one-of-a-kind book -- a personal, intellectual, literary and historical tour of contemporary central Europe -- with something in it for anyone who wants to understand this fascinating part of the world.
The Taste of Ashesis about more than the floodwaters of history; it's the story of those who learned to swim, those who didn't, and those still adapting to an era of accelerated change. This is a brilliant, lyrical and gripping book, one woven from stories that will linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
With a deep respect for what the historian can and cannot know and what the witness can and cannot share, Marci Shore has achieved something rare: a narrative history that is also a philosophy of history. Her subject is Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the Holocaust and Stalinism, but her stories of people and places -- tragic, ironic, carnivalesque -- have a universal appeal.
This item was reviewed in:
New York Times Book Review, April 2013
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
#145;Marci Shore has written a one-of-a-kind book -- a personal, intellectual, literary and historical tour of contemporary central Europe -- with something in it for anyone who wants to understand this fascinating part of the world.#146; Anne Applebaum, author of Iron Curtainand Gulag #145; The Taste of Ashesis about more than the floodwaters of history; it's the story of those who learned to swim, those who didn't, and those still adapting to an era of accelerated change. This is a brilliant, lyrical and gripping book, one woven from stories that will linger in the minds of readers for years to come.#146; Ian Bremmer, author of The End of the Free Market
Main Description
In the tradition of Timothy Garton Ash's The File, Yale historian and prize-winning author Marci Shore draws upon intimate understanding to illuminate the afterlife of totalitarianism. The Taste of Ashes spans from Berlin to Moscow, moving from Vienna in Europe's west through Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest to Vilnius and Kiev in the post-communist east. The result is a shimmering literary examination of the ghost of communism u no longer Marx's 'spectre to come' but a haunting presence of the past. Marci Shore builds her history around people she came to know over the course of the two decades since communism came to an end in Eastern Europe: her colleagues and friends, once-communists and once-dissidents, the accusers and the accused, the interrogators and the interrogated, Zionists, Bundists, Stalinists and their children and grandchildren. For them, the post-communist moment has not closed but rather has summoned up the past: revolution in 1968, Stalinism, the Second World War, the Holocaust. The end of communism had a dark side. As Shore pulls the reader into her journey of discovery, reading the archival records of people who are themselves confronting the traumas of former lives, she reveals the intertwining of the personal and the political, of love and cruelty, of intimacy and betrayal. The result is a lyrical and sometimes heartbreaking portrayal of how history moves and what history means.
Main Description
In the tradition of Timothy Garton Ash#146;s The File,Yale historian and prize-winning author Marci Shore draws upon intimate understanding to illuminate the afterlife of totalitarianism. The Taste of Ashesspans from Berlin to Moscow, moving from Vienna in Europe#146;s west through Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest to Vilnius and Kiev in the post-communist east. The result is a shimmering literary examination of the ghost of communism -- no longer Marx#146;s 'spectre to come' but a haunting presence of the past. Marci Shore builds her history around people she came to know over the course of the two decades since communism came to an end in Eastern Europe: her colleagues and friends, once-communists and once-dissidents, the accusers and the accused, the interrogators and the interrogated, Zionists, Bundists, Stalinists and their children and grandchildren. For them, the post-communist moment has not closed but rather has summoned up the past: revolution in 1968, Stalinism, the Second World War, the Holocaust. The end of communism had a dark side. As Shore pulls the reader into her journey of discovery, reading the archival records of people who are themselves confronting the traumas of former lives, she reveals the intertwining of the personal and the political, of love and cruelty, of intimacy and betrayal. The result is a lyrical and sometimes heartbreaking portrayal of how history moves and what history means.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'The Taste of Ashes' spans from Berlin to Moscow, moving from Vienna in Europe's west through Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest to Vilnius and Kiev in the post-communist east. The result is a shimmering literary examination of the ghost of communism - no longer Marx's 'spectre to come' but a haunting presence of the past.

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