From Good King Wenceslas to the Good Soldier vejk
A Dictionary of Czech Popular Culture
Andrew Roberts is Assistant Professor of Political
Science at Northwestern University. In addition to writing
on the politics of Eastern Europe, he also follows popular
culture in post-communist countries.
Roberts' book follows in the tradition of recent scholarship
that seeks to emphasize the importance of popular culture
and the wealth of knowledge that can be gained through
an analysis of the daily lives and practices of individuals.
Focusing on popular songs, movie stars, famous athletes,
traditional dishes, and children's games that are second
nature to every Czech, Roberts' work serves as an introduction
to Czech popular culture. This dictionary is a sizeable
achievement as it offers an English readership an invaluable
source of information to a rich body of material that
has thus far remained ephemeral. The six hundred entries
are cross-referenced and allow readers to pursue particular
topics in greater depth. Written in a readable style
this work is easily accessible to a wide readership.
"This is the book that I wish
someone had given me the day I arrived in Prague ...it’s
the best companion an expat in this country could ask
for" – The
"This very readable overview of Czech culture
by Roberts... is unique, informative, and valuable.
Summing up: Highly recommended". - Choice
author's unstated underlying objective is anything but
postmodernist: to capture the essence of Czechness,
at least in recent times...
style is not only engaging, but also humorous. He peppers
his entries with jokes and adds spice to those that
might otherwise read as a dry recitation of facts".
- Slavic and East European Journal
"Andrew Roberts has compiled a highly informative
and enjoyable dictionary of Czech popular culture. The
topics covered include society, politics, history, literature,
music, movies, sports and much more. Regardless of length,
the entries are clear and well-written. Historical background
is provided whenever needed. The
book is rounded off with a useful alphabetical and thematic
index to all dictionary entries.
interested in Czech history, culture and politics will
find this work a valuable source for informative descriptions
and definitions. All the more so because it is written
in a lucid, wry style which is a pleasure to read. The
author has a good eye for the little oddities of everyday
life and a remarkable understanding of the Czech mentality
and worldview (I especially liked the way he highlights
Czech quirks with respect and humor).
big plus is the author's website,
where he regularly updates and extends his book."
"I ended up ordering copies of the book for several
of my friends who shared my experiences, and they have
loved it too!" - Amazon
(two readers' reviews)
ISBN 978-963-7326-26-4 cloth $50.00 / €42.95 /
ISBN 978-963-7326-27-1 paperback $25.95 / €23.95