Into the Sunlight: Life After the Iron Curtain

Roger Rapoport, Author Heyday Books $0 (104p) ISBN 978-0-930588-49-6
Rapoport takes a refreshingly humanistic look at the changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union since the fall of the Iron Curtain, concentratingpk on the ways in which citizens are coping with struggling economic and political systems. Before arriving in the U.S.S.R. in early 1990, the author visits Poland; at Cracow's car flea-market, hopeful consumers who formerly had to wait five years to own an automobile now can pick from a wide variety of ``lemons'' and ``drive their choice home on the spot.'' Rapoport tours the State Jewish Museum in Prague, an institution originally planned by Hitler as a ``showcase of an `extinct culture,' '' and learns about the new religious freedom in Czechoslovakia. Much of the book is a chronicle of the life-saving surgery performed at the Leningrad Children's Hospital #1 by doctors from Oakland, Calif., using techniques unknown to Soviet medicine. Rapoport speaks to Soviet doctors and parents about the appalling state of health care. Writing in a simple and straightforward voice, Rapoport ( The Great American Bomb Machine ) draws an alluring portrait of peoples and countries in flux. An afterword features an interview with Russian historian Martin Malia, whose predictive analysis of the fall of communism was published in the New York Times under the pseudonym ``Z.'' Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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