Jul 15, 2021

Animal Farm by George Orwell is a metaphor for human society and a commentary on the communist governments of the pre-Cold War era. A bold novel opposing some of the pro-communism sentiment in the country at the time, Animal Farm tells the story of the USSR and other communist countries from the viewpoint of the citizens within, and the ones that control from above.

Animal Farm, as you can probably tell by the name, tells the story of animals on a farm, who overthrow the farmer overlooking them in order to create a freer, more just society. Things start smoothly, but the pigs begin to take

Nov 16, 2012

This book was recommended to me by a library patron who found the book very interesting and wanted to know how the book compared to my experiences growing up in Eastern Europe.

The premise of How we Survived Communism and Even Laughed is simply that, even though women also participated in all the revolutionary events of overthrowing the totalitarian regime in 1989, they were much less visible then men. The author traveled to Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Eastern Germany in 1990 at the time the new democracies formed in Eastern Europe, with a mission to learn about the lives

Jun 20, 2011

This book takes place in the 1970s in China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  The main protagonists are two boys who grew up in an intellectual family background, and for this reason were exiled to a very rural countryside to be “re-educated.” Their re-education equals mainly hard and demeaning labor. One of the boys is a violin virtuoso and is not allowed to play an instrument considered to spread western propaganda.

The boys tried to support each other and deal with their current life’s circumstances.  During their stay in the village, they meet a beautiful but plain and naive seamstress. 

Stardust by Joseph Kanon

Rated by Susan B.
Apr 1, 2010

stardust.jpgReally good noir fiction about a bygone era in Hollywood can be scarcer than hens’ teeth, but Kanon provides a fine tale, with historical overtones.  The period is set immediately after WWII, and a returning GI is traveling across country, after learning his brother, a successful screen writer, has had a fatal accident.  Or was it?  As Ben Collier becomes familiar with his brother’s life, marriage, and somewhat clandestine activities, the Communist witch hunt begins with forays into studio politics and the émigrés who have sought asylum in the US from Eastern Europe. The division between real