Book Review: 🇦🇱 Free 🇦🇱

Prof C Explains
3 min readApr 4, 2022
Photo by Ergys Temali on Unsplash

A Child and a Country at the End of History 👍

by Lea Ypi

Free is a fascinating memoir told by Le Ypi, who grew up in Albania during the 80s. There she learned about the history of her country, socialism, and soviet-style communism from teachers, friends, and community members who either believed in the state’s propaganda or had to pretend to believe in it. The community and educational system held Soviet-style communism in high regard in the educational system, and Ypi grew up waiting for a revolution that would bring about the arrival of “true” communism and not the “communism lite” that Enver Hoxha and his regime set up after WW2.

When my father spoke of the revolution in general, he got as excited as my grandmother did when she spoke about the French Revolution in particular. In my family, everyone had a favorite revolution, just as everyone had a favourite summer fruit. My mother’s favourite fruit was watermelon, and her favourite revolution was the English one. Mine were figs and Russian. My father emphasized that he was sympathetic to all our revolutions, but his favourite was the one that had yet to take place. As to his favourite, it was quince — but it could choke you when it wasn’t fully ripe, so he was often reluctant to indulge. Dates were my grandmother’s favourite fruit; they were hard to

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Prof C Explains

J Scott Christianson: UM Teaching Prof, Technologist & Entrepreneur. Connect with me here: https://www.christiansonjs.com/