Written in a lively and accessible style, and illustrated throughout with photographs, The Roma Cafe is a poignant and intriguing analysis of the diverse problems facing Central and Eastern Europe's gypsy populations, including the largely unackwledged legacy of the Roma Holocaust. Engaging with a broad range of issues including racism, stereotyping, and political and ecomic transition in the ex-Communist states, Professor Istvan Pogany challenges the most common preconceptions about the Roma. He also looks at the specifics of individual Romani lives, particularly in Hungary and Romania. Highlighting the difficulties that all marginal peoples face, Pogany explains how the Roma have been devastated by the ecomic transition from Communism to open markets in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989. Mass unemployment, poverty, lack of education, as well as widespread anti-Roma discrimination and inadequate legal protection, have left the Roma facing intense hardship and marginalisation since the collapse of state socialism. However, this book is t just a catalogue of the challenges that the Roma face -- it is also a celebration of Roma cultures and of the acceptance of difference -- something that is more important than ever in our multicultural societies.
Istvan Pogany is Professor of Law at Warwick University. He teaches courses in comparative human rights and international law. He has written extensively on constitutional transition, human rights and minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe. His previous books include Human Rights in Eastern Europe (Edward Elgar, 1995) and Righting Wrongs in Eastern Europe (Manchester University Press, 1997).