Communist Daze

Communist Daze

The Many Misadventures of a Soviet Doctor
Vladimir A. Tsesis
Distribution: World
Publication date: 1/20/2017
Format: paper 254 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-02586-9
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Description

Welcome to Gradieshti, a Soviet village awash in gray buildings and ramshackle fences, home to a large, collective farm and to the most oddball and endearing cast of characters possible. For three years in the 1960s, Vladimir Tsesis—inestimable Soviet doctor and irrepressible jester—was stationed in a village where racing tractor drivers tossed vodka bottles to each other for sport; where farmers and townspeople secretly mocked and tried to endure the Communist way of life; where milk for children, running water, and adequate electricity were rare; where the world’s smallest, motley parade became the country’s longest; and where one compulsively amorous Communist Party leader met a memorable, chilling fate. From a frantic pursuit of calcium-deprived, lunatic Socialist chickens to a father begging on his knees to Soviet officials to obtain antibiotic for his dying child, Vladimir’s tales of Gradieshti are unforgettable. Sometimes hysterical, often moving, always a remarkable and highly entertaining insider’s look at rural life under the old Soviet regime, they are a sobering exposé of the terrible inadequacies of its much-lauded socialist medical system.

Author Bio

Vladimir A. Tsesis, MD, was born and grew up in the Soviet Union, and became a pediatric doctor there. In 1974 he emigrated to the United States, where he continued to practice for another thirty years. Presently he is retired and lives in River Forest, IL. His books include Children, Parents, Lollipops: Tales of Pediatrics and Who's Yelling in My Stethoscope?

Reviews

"To understand the confusing reality of Russia today, it helps to recall the 'bad-old-days' of the late, unlamented Soviet Union. This warm, touching and occasionally hilarious book can assist those recollections." —Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio show host

"In this memoir, a pediatrician describes his work in a Moldovan village; Vladimir A. Tsesis's stories are darkly funny and reveal much about the poverty, drunkenness, political corruption, anti-Semitism, and fundamental absurdity of rural life in the Soviet 1960s." —Deborah A. Field, author of
Private Life and Communist Morality in Khrushchev’s Russia

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface: September 1964
Beginnings
Potemkin Profession
Hard Lives and Few Choices
Just One More Drink
Secrets
The Party’s Party
The Longest Shortest Parade in the Soviet Union
How Much Do You
Really Want That Vacation, Vladimir?
Windmills
Milk
The Wanderers
Death in a Family
The Great Chase
KGB Daughters, and Why Not to Treat Them
The West Meets the Best
The Incredibly Shrinking Crop
A Frosty Farewell
One Joke Too Many
Endings
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