27 December 2018

Beyond the Wall, my book on a Polish and Soviet adventure available on all Amazon sites.

My latest book:

Beyond the Wall:

Adventures of a Volkswagen Beetle

Beyond the Iron Curtain

has just been published and is available on all Amazon sites.


1980: the Cold War between capitalist West and socialist East is in full swing. Tensions are high but, at the academic level, some channels of useful exchange remain open. The author and two classmates would join one such program linking a leading American university and its counterpart in Poland. They drive to Warsaw in a bright yellow VW Beetle and, in addition to attending classes, travel far and wide within the country as well as to several of the neighbors in the socialist bloc where the Soviet Union called all the shots. They drive across the USSR and visit the Berlin Wall, the symbol of the division of Europe. Throughout, Marco takes detailed notes of what they see and hear.

Almost four decades later, the East-West division of Europe is gone. Marco recently found his diary and decided to publish an expanded version of it. His written notes from 1980 have been enriched with descriptions and analyses of historical events that will help the reader see his personal experience in a more significant cultural, social, political and economic context.

The author hopes this real life story will help younger generations, who did not live through the Cold War, better appreciate the blessing of living in a European continent that is immensely more open, rich and free than it was then.

1 comment:

  1. In February 1980, an Italian student of politics by the name of Marco Carnovale embarked upon an exchange programme in Communist Poland armed with a Nikon and an adventurous spirit, continuing on to explore Soviet Russia and the Eastern Bloc. Over 30 years later he turned his travels into a blog, which has a wealth of unique photographs and reminiscences of life behind the Iron Curtain.

    Carnovale recollects being detained at a Czech military base where soldiers interrogate him in front of a picture of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of Russian Secret Police, before joining him for an impromptu game of American football and sending him on his way. And then it's a year of black market petrol, duck, vodka and more duck for dinner in Warsaw with the occasional bison steak and caviar thrown in.

    He also makes a relatively rare visit to East Berlin (visas were required whether you were coming from Poland or West Berlin) in all its austere concrete glory before the wall fell to make way for Western decadence. Take a break from Instagram and peruse images of a forgotten Eastern Europe instead.
    by Marie Boran on Irish Times


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