Goodbye Eastern Europe

Pages: 320
Imprint: Oneworld

Goodbye Eastern Europe

An Almost Forgotten History

Jacob Mikanowski

A farewell to Eastern Europe, and its vanishing culture of polytheism, vampires, sacred groves, and movable borders.
9780861542598 (9 Mar 2023)
RRP £20.00

The Book

Eastern Europe is disappearing. Not off the map of course, but as an idea.

Today it calls to mind a jumble of post-Soviet states paved over with C&A and McDonald's. We could describe Eastern Europe as a group of twenty nations - but why? For most of their history, they weren't nations at all.

The region is more than the sum total of its annexations, invasions and independence declarations. Eastern Europe abounds with peoples tied together by tragicomic twists of fate. Lives could be turned upside down by distant decrees from Vienna or Istanbul, or just as easily by a stubborn bureaucrat in your village. In twentieth-century Knust, you could live in six different countries without ever leaving your house. You could get married any day, but buying a teakettle was a singular event.

Goodbye Eastern Europe is a eulogy for a world we are losing as memories fade and new malls get built. We may not be able to conquer fate - but we can delight in its mystery.

Additional Information

Pages 320
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Jacob Mikanowski is a writer and academic. His parents were Polish immigrants to the US, and he spent his childhood between Poland and Pennsylvania. He is now a PhD candidate at the UC Berkeley in California. Concurrently, he has become a well-known essayist and freelance journalist, writing pieces for publications including the Guardian, New York Times, Atlantic, New Yorker, Harper's, Slate, Aeon, Prospect Magazine and many more. His two long reads for the Guardian were included in the paper's ‘Best of the Year' round-up in 2018.