Dancing Bears

Witold Szabłowski
Penguin Books • 2018

New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny and The Road to Unfreedom An incisive, humorous, and heartbreaking account of people in formerly Communist countries holding fast to their former liv...es, by the acclaimed author of How to Feed a Dictator For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to dance, welcoming them into their families and taking them on the road to perform. In the early 2000s, with the fall of Communism, they were forced to release the bears into a wildlife refuge. But even today, whenever the bears see a human, they still get up on their hind legs to dance. In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuscinski, award-winning Polish journalist Witold Szablowski uncovers remarkable stories of people throughout Eastern Europe and in Cuba who, like Bulgaria's dancing bears, are now free but who seem nostalgic for the time when they were not. His on-the-ground reporting of smuggling a car into Ukraine, hitchhiking through Kosovo as it declares independence, arguing with Stalin-adoring tour guides at the Stalin Museum, sleeping in London's Victoria Station alongside a homeless woman from Poland, and giving taxi rides to Cubans fearing for the life of Fidel Castro-provides a fascinating portrait of social and economic upheaval and a lesson in the challenges of freedom and the seductions of authoritarian rule. From the Introduction: "Guys with wacky hair who promise a great deal have been springing up in our part of the world like mushrooms after rain. And people go running after them, like bears after their keepers. . . . Fear of a changing world, and longing for someone . . . who will promise that life will be the same as it was in the past, are not confined to Regime-Change Land. In half the West, empty promises are made, wrapped in shiny paper like candy. And for this candy, people are happy to get up on their hind legs and dance."
Viac

Recenzie Absynt Politika Totalita Totalitný politický systém Witold Szablowski

Poľský reportér Witold Szablowski sa podujal na zaujímavý projekt. V rámci jednej publikácie spojil dve zdanlivo nesúvisiace témy a vytvoril mimoriadne pútavú knihu, ktorá sa teší veľkému záujmu čitateľov. Jeho Tancujúce medvede z roku 2014 sa vlani dostali na slovenský knižný trh vďaka vydavateľstvu Absynt. Príspevok Witold Szablowski: Tancujúce medvede zobrazený najskôr Recenzie kníh.

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Recenzie Absynt Politika Totalita Totalitný politický systém Witold Szablowski

Poľský reportér Witold Szablowski sa podujal na zaujímavý projekt. V rámci jednej publikácie spojil dve zdanlivo nesúvisiace témy a vytvoril mimoriadne pútavú knihu, ktorá sa teší veľkému záujmu čitateľov. Jeho Tancujúce medvede z roku 2014 sa vlani dostali na slovenský knižný trh vďaka vydavateľstvu Absynt. Príspevok Witold Szablowski: Tancujúce medvede zobrazený najskôr Recenzie kníh.

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Často nadobúdam presvedčenie, že mnohí ľudia túžia žiť v zoo, pretože sloboda ich desí a oplotenie je pre nich istotou. Sú prosto ako tancujúce medvede.

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New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny and The Road to Unfreedom An incisive, humorous, and heartbreaking account of people in formerly Communist countries holding fast to their former lives, by the acclaimed author of How to Feed a Dictator For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to dance, welcoming them into their families and taking them on the road to perform. In the early 2000s, with the fall of Communism, they were forced to release the bears into a wildlife refuge. But even today, whenever the bears see a human, they still get up on their hind legs to dance. In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuscinski, award-winning Polish journalist Witold Szablowski uncovers remarkable stories of people throughout Eastern Europe and in Cuba who, like Bulgaria's dancing bears, are now free but who seem nostalgic for the time when they were not. His on-the-ground reporting of smuggling a car into Ukraine, hitchhiking through Kosovo as it declares independence, arguing with Stalin-adoring tour guides at the Stalin Museum, sleeping in London's Victoria Station alongside a homeless woman from Poland, and giving taxi rides to Cubans fearing for the life of Fidel Castro-provides a fascinating portrait of social and economic upheaval and a lesson in the challenges of freedom and the seductions of authoritarian rule. From the Introduction: "Guys with wacky hair who promise a great deal have been springing up in our part of the world like mushrooms after rain. And people go running after them, like bears after their keepers. . . . Fear of a changing world, and longing for someone . . . who will promise that life will be the same as it was in the past, are not confined to Regime-Change Land. In half the West, empty promises are made, wrapped in shiny paper like candy. And for this candy, people are happy to get up on their hind legs and dance."

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