Eva Hoffman’s Extraordinary Exit into History takes us from the Baltic to the Black Sea. From Poland, we travel through Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. But the authoress is no hardy traveller. She tours in comfort wherever possible and confines herself to large cities. What unfolds is an account of her conversations with leading intellectuals, dissidents, taxi drivers, gypsies, trades union activists and ‘Them’ – the old-guard Communists. Mercifully, we are spared the look-what-these-foreigners-get- up-to tack since she prefers to cast herself not so much as a key player but as a detached narrator.
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'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
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'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'