Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana

Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana

Around the Bloc My Life in Moscow Beijing and Havana Desperate to escape South Texas Stephanie Elizondo Griest dreamed of becoming a foreign correspondent So she headed to Russia looking for some excitement commencing what would become a four year twe

  • Title: Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana
  • Author: Stephanie Elizondo Griest
  • ISBN: 9780812967609
  • Page: 498
  • Format: Paperback
  • Desperate to escape South Texas, Stephanie Elizondo Griest dreamed of becoming a foreign correspondent So she headed to Russia looking for some excitement commencing what would become a four year, twelve nation Communist bloc tour that shattered her preconceived notions of the Evil Empire In Around the Bloc, Griest relates her experiences as a volunteer at a children sDesperate to escape South Texas, Stephanie Elizondo Griest dreamed of becoming a foreign correspondent So she headed to Russia looking for some excitement commencing what would become a four year, twelve nation Communist bloc tour that shattered her preconceived notions of the Evil Empire In Around the Bloc, Griest relates her experiences as a volunteer at a children s shelter in Moscow, a propaganda polisher at the office of the Chinese Communist Party s English language mouthpiece in Beijing, and a belly dancer among the rumba queens of Havana She falls in love with an ex soldier who narrowly avoided radiation cleanup duties at Chernobyl, hangs out with Cuban hip hop artists, and comes to difficult realizations about the meaning of democracy is the absorbing story of a young journalist driven by a desire to witness the effects of Communism Along the way, she learns the Russian mathematical equation for buying dinner party vodka one bottle per guest, plus an extra , stumbles upon Beijing s underground gay scene, marches with 100,000 mothers demanding Eli n Gonz lez s return to Cuba, and gains a new appreciation for the Mexican culture she left behind.

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    • Free Read [Contemporary Book] ☆ Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana - by Stephanie Elizondo Griest ï
      498 Stephanie Elizondo Griest
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Contemporary Book] ☆ Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana - by Stephanie Elizondo Griest ï
      Posted by:Stephanie Elizondo Griest
      Published :2019-07-14T19:38:57+00:00

    852 Comment

    While the concept is interesting, the story isn't engaging. This book is one of very, very few that I simply couldn't bring myself to finish."Around the Bloc" was written when Griest was in her early twenties, and it's clear that her authorial voice was still incubating. The narration often comes across as immature and overly dramatized. Take this passage for example:We couldn't move, couldn't speak. Couldn't do a thing but watchAt some point, I turned around to find Kandy quivering. At first I [...]

    A mostly delightful account of the author's time spent living in three Communist countries: Russia (although it was 5 years past Communism when she lived there), China, and Cuba.The big downside was Griest's tendency to come across very "ugly American" at certain points in the book. I especially found her never-wavering belief that everyone wants to be like America to be grating, particularly by time she got to her third country, after she had been repeatedly told that people pretty much don't. [...]

    An interesting mix of travel essay, sociological musings, and memoir. Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, Griest travels to three Communist nations: living for a year in Moscow, a year (ish?) in Beijing, and a few weeks in Havana. I enjoyed her descriptions of local life, culture shock experiences, and often, but not always, her introspection on socialism, culture, and tourism. However, something about the writing just did not sit right with me. I can't quite put my finger on it, since each [...]

    What a great book! This one was recommended to me by a friend, and loving any type of travel memoir I had to pick it up - I even found a signed copy! Griest's memoir is a perfect blend of self discovery, interesting travel stories and fascinating people from around the world - basically when I travel, I want to travel like her. Her writing style is also simple and engaging - you feel like you're sitting right beside her throughout her trips, experiencing what she's experiencing and pondering ove [...]

    This was originally recommended to me by my friend Larisa. I read it about 6 years ago (maybe longer), so i can't write a detailed review at this point. I just remember being absolutely blown away. (I'm not easy to please either, and I've read a lot of boring travel books). Stephanie is an enthusiastic, talented writer. Her vivid descriptions are amazingly entertaining, informative, and very funny. I had no idea that it took her so long to write this book, that she stuck it out thru so many rewr [...]

    Stephanie Elizondo Griest describes her experiences living in Moscow and Beijing and spending two weeks in Havana when she was in her early twenties. I'm usually able to gobble up books of this genre in a couple of days. I thought the subject matter would be fascinating. Instead I found the author's writing a bit too meandering and frequently felt myself drifting to other thoughts while I was trying to concentrate on the book. There were a few interesting dribs and drabs. Overall, I think a bit [...]

    Damon turned me on to this book years ago. I've shared it with other friends and so far everyone has loved it. Here's a qoute I like "She (the Bloc) has taught me the difference between being alone and being lonely and made me ever selective of my company. In fact, the Bloc, has turned me into such a self-sustained, self-contained unit, I'm expecting to self-pollinate any day now." p.365

    Stephanie Griest managed to spend a year abroad for school, obtain grants and jobs, and travel to several countries in the communist bloc. In this book, she writes about her year in Moscow, Beijing, and a few weeks in Havana. She was inspired to these things when she heard a talk by a journalist describing what she perceived as a pretty exciting life. She asked him what she had to do to get a job like his. He said to study journalism and learn Russian, so that is what she did.I found this to be [...]

    I'm definitely a sucker for memoirs written by ordinary people, especially ones who do extraordinary things. Griest most certainly ends up doing some very extraordinary things -- like go to Russia just after the fall of Communism, after which she finds work at a Chinese propaganda newspaper in Beijing, and then manages to sneak into Cuba. This last may not seem that extraordinary, what with President Obama reopening relations with that country, and following the death of Fidel Castro, but at the [...]

    Stephanie Griest managed to spend a year abroad for school, obtain grants and jobs, and travel to several countries in the communist bloc.  In this book, she writes about her year in Moscow, Beijing, and a few weeks in Havana.  She was inspired to these things when she heard a talk by a journalist describing what she perceived as a pretty exciting life.  She asked him what she had to do to get a job like his.  He said to study journalism and learn Russian, so that is what she did.I found thi [...]

    “Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana” is an exuberant, energetic, informative, and entertaining account of Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s travels: she spent a year studying in Russia, another year working as a journalist at a Chinese newspaper, and vacationed for a few days in Cuba.The author’s first book, “Around the Bloc” is divided into three sections, by country. We get to peek into the daily lives of Russian students. We learn that when they party, young Russian [...]

    At a lecture by a international CNN journalist, Stephanie asks how to get a job like his. His answer- learn to speak Russian. And she does.Stephanie Elizondo Griest is a Mexican-American, a high school student when the Soviets lost power, and when the Tiananmen Square Rebellion occurred. What do the people of her generation think about communism? Are they yearning for freedoms we take for granted? Do they hope for democracy? What does her generation of Moscovites feel possible? Arriving in Mosco [...]

    Remember how the tagline for A&E used to be “escape the ordinary”? (It might still be, but honestly, I haven’t watched A&E in a really long time because it feels like it’s competing with TLC in coming up with completely useless shows where we learn about how freakishly consumerist Western society is.)I can’t help but admire people who actually manage to “escape the ordinary” — and by “ordinary,” I mean whatever the “norm” is for the society we’re living in.It ta [...]

    I loved the style in which she wrote. I went a period abroad to Italy, and truly, no matter how much you read or learn about a culture and language it will never be enough. I thought I knew a lot about Italy but my idea of an pizza was even different than theirs! This piece of text actually showed me how unadventurous I have been during my time abroad. I mean she met a lot of people and had a lot of different kinds of experiences. I loved reading it and seeing how she is slowly discovering her L [...]

    I picked it up because I was going on a long weekend trip, and wanted to find some lighter reading. And I find travel books are fun on vacation. It would have been very synchronous if I had actually read the book on the trip. The trip was to Port Aransas, and the author is from Corpus -- I had no idea. Also had no idea that she studied at UT. It was a bit jarring to find pieces of my own world sprinkled throughout the book.At this point, it's a little dated. And it's interesting to realize how q [...]

    This travel memoir follows the author through several communist (or post-communist) countries, though she only writes about her time in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana. I am in love with all things Russian, so I was in heaven reading the Moscow section. Luckily for me, Moscow takes up about half the book. It would probably still stand as the strongest part of the book, my love for Russia barred. So imagine my disappointment when I promptly fall from a Russia-induced euphoria into the boring and mono [...]

    This book struck me a little as if a ten-years-younger Carrie Bradshaw type wrote about communism, socialism, and being an American inostranka/laowei/extranjera instead of sex (although there's a smidgen of that, too, in hered it seemed to actually get in the way a little). Griest's accounts were very personable. for me whose foreign travels encompass less than half a day in Reynosa and cultural knowledge of Russia, China, and Cuba--apart from history and geography classes--is pretty much limite [...]

    So my daughter is taking a class taught by Ms. Griest at UNC-Chapel Hill and spoke very highly of her so I looked her up and found her blog and saw that she had published some books. I decided to check her out and am so glad I did.In the late 1990's, she had the opportunity to visit several countries that had experimented with Communism and wrote a coming-of-age, travel book, memoir detailing her experiences in Russia, China and Cuba. She write from the perspective of a young college student tha [...]

    First a comment on the author--she's uncompromisingly honest, amazingly courageous (or foolish?) and a good writer. Her adventures and misadventures behind the iron current, the bamboo curtain, and the coconut current (I made that up, I don't know what they call it in Cuba) are sometimes chilling, sometimes hilarious, and always interesting.Her central question: was the revolution worth it? did the freeing women from foot binding, for example in China, balance out the great loss of life during t [...]

    I had the privilege to listen to a reading by Stephanie Elizondo Griest a few weeks ago at my university's writers series. She'd been here teaching and writing, and after hearing her read some recent and older work of hers, I wish I'd taken her class. She's energetic in ways you don't see very often, and it shows in her writing. In short, Around the Bloc is inspiring. You're right there with Stephanie as she explores the Red countries and as she looks for a way out of her perceived boring South [...]

    Part history lesson, part travelogue, and part hilariously irrelevant guidebook, AROUND THE BLOC isn't a timely book but it's still a necessary one. Stephanie Elizondo Griest's tour of three major communist cities doesn't just reveal the pace and priorities of day-to-day life--it also normalizes the people living under communist regimes. From the Russian university students obsessed with American culture to the Chinese journalists writing propaganda for the state, none of Griest's friends and co [...]

    I have been fortunate enough to take a class with this charming woman, which might make me biasedBut personally I really enjoyed the book. It was well-written and honest, while the tidbits of historical and political background really kept the narrative grounded in modern-day issues. Stehpanie maintained a careful balance between commenting on the shortcomings of these communist systems and her own insecurities regarding the perceived superiority of capitalism and democracy in the U.S. It also h [...]

    I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did, but I struggled to be very engaged in it. I thought it a bit dry, and found my mind often wandering, yet I was genuinely interested in her experiences. So, not a page turner for me, but not one I considered giving up on.To be fair, I typically enjoy travelogues that are somewhat humorous or witty, and this one, albeit quite interesting, did not have any funny anecdotes. But, despite not being funny, this was a very well written book about the aut [...]

    Interesting premise, but many of Griest's conclusions seemed awfully shallow. You can definitely tell that she was in her early twenties without much historical grounding when she wrote the book. I was much less captivated by her perrsonal story than those of her friends Nadezhda and Elena in Moscow amd Liu and Yuer in Beijing. The section on Havana was particularly weak--sorry, but spending two weeks in Cuba as a tourist doesn't give you much insight into the lives of cubanos. Still, it was an [...]

    After a CNN correspondent told the eager young Griest that the way to make it as a foreign correspondent was to learn Russian, she did just that. Then she spent the last part of the 1990's living and learning in Russia, China and Cuba. He focus was Communism; what it attempted, how it failed or how it was still lived. Ultimately, she looks back at the CNN journalist's simple solution and wonders whether "any foreign correspondent [can] accurately cover a society not their own?" She discovers fin [...]

    Loved this book. It doesn't matter that the information about the various countries is already dated, because this is a memoir, not a travel guide. I thoroughly enjoyed Griest's depictions of the places, and most of all the people she meets. I love that she seems to just love every experience she has, for example when the woman she asks for directions in the Moscow metro grabs her around the neck, shakes her, and tells her she will not help an American. Wow, how exciting! Above all, Griest descr [...]

    This book follows the author during a fantastic journey through three of the world's most notable communist capitals as she not only discovers what makes each society different from each other, but how much she's missed out on her own heritage by ignoring it as a child.Griest's experiences are very relatable, even to those who haven't travelled to the places she has, and its lessons can be applied universally. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to learn about the cultures of Russia, Chi [...]

    This was an entertaining travel memoir. Her writing style and highlights of her time in Moscow, Beijing and Havana made me believe that maybe I, who is not adventurous, could possibly enjoy a trip to these countries. Maybe. Griest has such an adventurous spirit that is sparked by someone telling her the way to start a career in journalism back then (even though it was just a short time ago) was to study Russian. Although she studied up on the languages and culture before departing, her naivete a [...]

    While traveling around the world, Griest finds out a lot about herself. She learns about the complexities of culture too. In the beginning she is interested in immersing herself in other cultures, but she has only a surface level view of her Mexican culture. This was an often entertaining memoir, but I found myself thinking often about how young she was. So many times the statements she made were just so young and idealistic. I felt old while I read it. It was certainly interesting to get a glim [...]

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