Once the clearest of distinctions for the European countries located behind the iron curtain, Eastern Europe is seemingly a fading, nebulous territory, and a label countries seem desperate to shed. Czech Republic? That’s Central Europe now. Estonia? Latvia? Lithuania? Those are just the Baltic states. However, nomenclature aside, the region remains an anchor in the identity of millions of people around the globe. Mikanowski’s new book Goodbye, Eastern Europe (Pantheon) traces the stories of the various peoples who have called the region home for the past thousand years, chronicling every period of war and peace, myth and truth, and glory and defeat in a comprehensive treatment of a place now seemingly at its end. Tied in with his own family history, Mikanowski paints a portrait of a region that has been at the center of conflict for centuries, from its origins to its captivating history to its uncertain future.