Modris Eksteins




Walking Since Daybreak

“A deeply moving and intellectually challenging view of modern history.”
Los Angeles Times

“…a beautiful meditation, written with both intellectual and moral urgency.”
Publishers Weekly

“ important reassessment of WWII and it's outcome... provocative and ambitious.”
Kirkus Reviews 

Winner Pearson Literary Prize

Standaart Nthlds 2007
Houghton Mifflin 1999
Macmillan UK 2000 OP
Key Porter Canada 1999
Atena Latvia 2002

Walking Since Daybreak

In his journey to 1945 and the firestorm in Berlin, Eksteins weaves the story of his family in Latvia into the major events of the era, merging the subjectivity of the modern style with the objectivity of the scholar.

Empire, war, communism, fascism, the Holocaust, genocide, the huge tide of European refuges, New World immigration, freedom...These  are the markers of our turbulent age.

Born in Latvia, Eksteins arrived as a child in 1950 among the displaced in Canada. He surveys the wreckage from two angles:  by looking back from 1989 and the collapse of the Berlin Wall and, at the same time, moving forward from the perspective of the 19th century borderlands between Russia and Germany.

It is an astute and thrilling panorama from the imperial age of coherence to our current confusions and fragmented logic.