Departures Podcast featuring Jacob Mikanowski, author of ‘Goodbye, Eastern Europe’

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Eastern Europe, from the northernmost reaches of of the Baltics and down to the Balkan statelets strung along the Adriadic Sea, is one of the most perplexing, conflicted, and interesting regions of the world which still today remains the subject of myths and misunderstanding. Since the end of the Cold War, one could say that the region barely exists as a concept except in historical memory – but it also stubbornly clings to numerous shared cultural features and experiences that continue to bind it together.

In historian Jacob Mikanowski’s fascinating new book, “Goodbye, Eastern Europe: An Intimate History of a Divided Land,” the author tackles a subject of almost impossible proportions and approaches it with a taut, elegiac personal history, painting an unforgettable portrait of the region.

In this conversation with host Robert Amsterdam, Mikanowski discusses how he approached the research of such a challenging and diverse geopolitical subject, sweeping from the dark ages to the more modern political faultlines which have seen bloodshed, barbarism, and incredible human resilience and innovation.