The Hidden Europe

The Hidden Europe

What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the author's travels and experiences in Eastern Europe and the lessons that each country can teach the rest of the world, with information on each country's physical geography, history, strengths, local customs, stereotypes, and people.

Wanderlearn Pr
Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure, but Western Europe seemed too tame and passé. So he traveled for 3 years visiting every Eastern European country—all 25 of them.The Hidden Europe cleverly mixes insightful facts with hilarious personal anecdotes. It's profound, yet light. Francis Tapon is a sharp observer who helps you distinguish a Latvian from a Lithuanian, while not confusing Slovenia with Slovakia.You'll also learn: - Why Baltic people are human squirrels.- When and why Poland disappeared from Europe.- Why Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia broke up.- Why Hungarians are really Martians.- How Slovenians learn languages so quickly.- Why the Balkans is so screwed up.- Why there's much more to Romania than Dracula.- Which Moldovan tradition saves marriages.- What the future holds for Belarus, Ukraine, Russia.- Why communism was a dream . . . and a nightmare.You'll understand a side of Europe that is still mysterious and misunderstood even 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Francis Tapon is an ideal guide in a book that will become a classic travel narrative.
Travelogue about three years in Eastern Europe.

Publisher: [Burlingame, Calif.] : WanderLearn Press, [2012]
Edition: 1.0 edition
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780976581222
Branch Call Number: 914.704 TAPON
Characteristics: 736 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color), maps, portraits (chiefly color) ; 23 cm
Notes: Series on jacket
Maps on lining papers


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Sophie_Library Sep 18, 2019

Had high hopes for this book, which has such a great concept behind it, but have been disappointed. The travel aspects are interesting - although can be repetitive and with a very changeable timeline that causes confusion in the author's self-referential description of his journey. What is more tiresome is the author's personal voice. If he meets a woman, he immediately needs to describe her body type, how sexy she is, and how closely she resembles a supermodel. He must then describe how every woman flirts with him, and most cannot wait to invite him into one sexual encounter or another. I am no prude, but it strains credulity that he is irresistible to each and every woman in Eastern Europe. Additionally, although I enjoyed the open-minded tone of his introduction and looked forward to each chapter's list of what we can all learn from these countries, in practice he is unable to truly concede that American-style capitalism might not be the answer to all the world's problems, and he is ultimately dismissive of any other approaches. Occasionally his tone veers away from poking fun, and closer to bigotry. Bill Bryson/Paul Theroux/Jan Morris he is not. He spends a great deal of time complaining that everything is "too expensive", and rather than reflect on how that might affect the local economy, he repeatedly explains that everything is communism's fault (and then writes it in a book to discourage other tourists from going there and spending “too much” money). Much of his broader economic perspective is already quite dated. Would be surprised if this were published today - what a difference a few years can make. Still love the concept, delighted with what knowledge there was, but it was fairly hard work to get at it, and desperately needed a firm edit. Hope there's a fresher travel writer who would like to give the idea a try, it deserves a better author. Baffled by the glowing Library Journal review. Would recommend instead "Travel as a Political Act" (2018 edition) by Rick Steves - an author who seems mild-mannered but packs more of a revolutionary punch, and is genuinely interested in other places and other people (and not just the ones that look like supermodels).


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