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Small Doses of Arsenic
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Small Doses of Arsenic is a historical memoir of a spirited woman born into a village in Bohemia in 1905. Tonca began writing her memoirs in conversational letters to her emigrant son in America when she was 80 and continued sending them up to the age of 91. In a Czechoslovakia that was buffeted by two world wars and the Soviet occupation, Tonca's letters discuss family and social matters, creating a humanized version of history that reflects the lives of rural, working-class Czech poor of the twentieth century. For additional information on this book, please visit the authors website at www.welners.com.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Tonca's Letters Chapter 4 Our Cottage Near the Creek Chapter 5 Rovensko Chapter 6 On My Own Chapter 7 Jablonec Chapter 8 Wife and Mother Chapter 9 Husband and Father Chapter 10 Surviving in Spite of It All Chapter 11 My Neighbors in Dalimerice Chapter 12 In-laws and Other Assorted Vermin Chapter 13 My Life with Josef Muzak Chapter 14 On My Own Again Chapter 15 Appendix: Major Historical Events Timeline Chapter 16 Notes Chapter 17 References Chapter 18 About the Authors

About the Author

Sylvia Welner earned her B.A. in English from UCLA, and her M.A. in Bilingual/Multicultural Studies from California State University, Dominguez Hills. A long-time teacher, she also has published poetry as well as an instructional guide on teaching poetry writing to the bilingual child. Kevin Welner is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Professor Welner holds a Ph.D. and J.D. from UCLA. His other books include Legal Rights, Local Wrongs: When Community Control Collides with Educational Equity.

Reviews

This book deserves to be widely read. The deep letters and fine introductions really give a taste of life in Czechoslovakia. -- Padraic Kenney, Professor of History, University of Colorado, Boulder This lively, absorbing account is more than a single woman's story; it's the story of an entire country and reveals how political events and movements affect ordinary people. -- Joan Hinkemeyer Rocky Mountain News Because the validity of this work as a wonderfully rich source of details on life in post-World War I Bohemia, readers may forget that this book is a painful exposition of a particular person living in a specific community...Tonca's personal recollections together with her son's thoughtful, insightful and personal observations that placed Tonca's writing within an appropriate and historical and contemporary framework and the excellent editing on the part of Syliva and Kevin Welner make Doses of Arsenic: A Bohemian Woman's Story of Survival a very solid work. -- Hana Walsserova, Texas A & M University Kosmas Small Doses of Arsenic...is an engaging, nonlinear narrative that represents the experiences and attitudes of a working-class Czech woman in the early and mid-twentieth century...It would be an excellent addition to any course on Czech cultural history, to complement "big history" with the fabric of everyday life. -- David L. Cooper Slavic and East European Journal I recommend this book to anybody who would like to learn more about the lives of people born in this region; people who lived through the horrible last century that brought forward two world wars and three oppressive political systems: the Empire, Nazism, and Communism. -- Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce Czech Language News Small Doses ... is not only the history of a peasant woman living during the most tumultuous decades of what was then Czechslovakia, but is is also a dialogue between a mother and son separated by continents and modernity. The Easy Reader

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