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Communist Daze : The Many Misadventures of a Soviet Doctor (Hardcover) (Vladimir A. Tsesis)
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Welcome to Gradieshti, a tiny Russian village awash in gray buildings and ramshackle fenceslinens, a home to a large, collective farm surrounded by sprawling state-run collective farms,and home to the most oddball and endearing cast of characters possible. For three years in the 1960s, Vladimir A. 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 mocked the Communist way of life; where milk for children, running water, and adequate electricity were when they could and played along the rest of the time 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.