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  • Zachary Mazur

Book Review: Goodbye, Eastern Europe

A few months back, the Austrian History Yearbook asked me to review a new mass market history of Eastern Europe, published by Penguin Random House. I was extremely excited to get my hands on this book and I think any attempt to communicate this complex history to a bigger audience is always a net positive.


The author, Jacob Mikanowski, comes from an academic background but has been working as a journalist for a while. He's clearly a talented writer. But since it was an academic journal asking me to assess his work, I had to take a look at it from that perspective. Rightly or wrongly, I felt I needed to evaluate this book through the lens of scholarly history.


Mikanowski bites off a huge chunk of difficult material, and operates deftly with it, but I wasn't always thrilled with some of his characterizations. Perhaps that's an unfair critique, seen through my own hopes that historians can start to break down what I see as harmful nationalist posturing. But I'll leave the assessments of my assessment up to other readers.


You can read my full review here:




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