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Book details of 'The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us'

Cover of The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us
TitleThe Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us
Author(s)Francis Tapon
PublishedDecember 2011
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Score: score: 3.8 ****-  Vote for this book

The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us':

Reviewer Koos van den Hout wrote:
Francis Tapon is not a person to sit still at home. He decided to learn about all of "Eastern Europe" by taking his backpack and visiting those countries in person. He tries to take away the (American) prejudices about Eastern Europe but learns in the process that some of those prejudices are still valid. A lot has happened in the Eastern European countries in the last 25 years. The map has changed a lot, new countries formed and others fell apart. On the visits to each country he learned about the language, the history, the current situation and the outlook on the future. He digs into the events from the 20th century which clearly shape the history of each country and the feelings of historic wrongdoing coming from those events. A good read for someone wanting to learn more about this part of the world. The writing style is sometimes a bit chaotic with the distractions and diversions, but it is a very entertaining book. I applaud Francis for searching a way to immerse himself in each country by preferring staying with a local with an available couch.

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Book description:

Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure, but Western Europe seemed too tame and passe. 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. SUMMARY When people say that they're "going to Europe," they're usually referring to Western Europe. But what about Eastern Europe? You don't really know Europe until you visit its mysterious eastern side. Francis Tapon's quest was simple: explore every country in Eastern Europe from the Gulf of Finland to the Black Sea. He saw them all in 2004 and then returned in 2008 to revisit them to see what had changed. He finally left in 2011 to share a side of Europe that few know. Starting in the Baltic, you'll move through Belarus, Poland, Slovakia and get as far west as Slovenia before heading south into the thrilling Balkans. Then you'll head northeast through Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia. It's a 25-country adventure spanning several years! The Hidden Europe is an entertaining travelogue that also shares practical lessons that will impact your day-to-day life. You ll learn about today's Eastern Europe along with understanding the complex history of this fascinating region. You ll also see how the locals live and realize that they do some things better than most of the world. You'll understand why smart money and groundbreaking tourists are flocking to this undiscovered territory. Best of all, you won't have to deal with the grumpy train ticket vendors.

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