Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday Life

  • Robert Hamm Maynooth University

Abstract

The annoying thing first. For a book that is supposed to be read, the price is exorbitant. This obviously is not a problem of this book alone, neither is it something that would be in the hands of the authors. Nevertheless it is a matter to consider.

The book itself is highly readable. Framed by an introductory and a summarising chapter authored by the editors, it comprises ten essays by authors who all present personal memories from their period of growing up in societies deemed socialist or post-socialist. These memories are put into historical contexts and interpreted by the authors.

Memories in the book span a period in time from the 1960s to the 2000s. They represent experiences in Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, China, USSR (Latvia, Russia, Ukraine) and post-soviet Russia, plus a Polish exile community in Canada. Of the ten memory chapters nine are written by female authors (H. Lenart-Cheng, I. Luca, L. Oates-Indruchová, I. Kašparová, V. Hoang-Phuong Ho, A. Bogic, Z. Millei, N. Piattoeva, I. Silova, E. Aydarova, A. Battalova, E. Przybylo, P. Ivleva, J. Wu), with one authored by two men (O. Kaščák, B. Pupala). The gender imbalance is notable. It raises a curiosity to read further material also, from a more gender diverse perspective....

Published
2020-12-18
Section
Book Review/Review Essay