Strawberries With Everything: A Polish Odyssey 1966-1974
ISBN 0-646-45004-2. RRP $24.95.
Strawberries with everything brings a new tone to political memoirs. How did a nice Jewish boy finish up in a place like Poland? In sometimes hilarious detail, Steve Brook describes his early years in prewar London, the emigration of his family to Australia, and his eventual Aussification. While still in his teens he gets a heavy dose of Left politics. After a holiday in Poland, via London, he is offered a job at the Polish Radio in Warsaw. He spends eight years on the wrong side in the Cold War, with a ringside seat at some of the most significant events in European history including the Warsaw Dog Show, the "anti-Zionist" uproar of 1968 and the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia the same year.
He returns to Australia in 1974 and after numerous Candide-like adventures, he finds himself wondering if it was all worthwhile.
Of course it was.