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“Living with a Scent of Danger” Recounts Risky and at times humorous Adventures at the Fall of Communism

Joanne Ivy Stankievich’s marriage to a Belarusian enables her to live in Eastern Europe and participate in events around the fall of the Iron Curtain.


Stankievich’s experiences in Eastern Europe during the Cold War is the ultimate bucket list.

While growing up as a farm girl in the Pacific Northwest, Joanne Ivy longed to embark on “exciting adventures in far-off lands”. The opportunity to live and travel in Europe presented itself when she married a Belarusian, Walter Stankievich, who became the director of the Belarus Service at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Munich, where its headquarters were located then. For Stankievich, it was a ‘ “very interesting time to go to Europe given (Soviet Union President Mikhail) Gorbachev’s Glasnost policies”. So rich was her experience that she published a memoir titled “Living with a Scent of Danger: European Adventures at the Fall of Communism” (Outskirts Press, 2013).
Truly a gem for readers who want to know about life behind the Iron Curtain through the perspective of both an American and her an émigré husband, the memoir not only reveals the fears and joys of the author but also the temperament of the times in Cold War-era Europe and of the socio-political anxieties of the different people she met. The risks that Stankievich faced is as intense as the emotions Eastern Europeans felt when they lived through the last days of Communism and freedom’s challenges.
In the light of Russia’s new aggressive attitude toward neighbors and wars with Ukraine and Georgia, history buffs and observers of Eastern European politics will find Stankievich’s “Living with a Scent of Danger: European Adventures at the Fall of Communism” worth reading.
The book is scheduled to appear at the upcoming 2017 Book Expo America on June 1 to 3, 2017. For more information about the author and her book, please visit
“Living with a Scent of Danger: European Adventures at the Fall of Communism”
Written by Joanne Ivy Stankievich
Published by Outskirts Press
Published date: February 1, 2013
Paperback price: $16.95
About the Author
International topics intrigued Joanne ever since day-dreaming about exotic adventures during her farm childhood. After college, she moved to New York City and worked with Eleanor Roosevelt on model U.N. programs, married a Belarusian activist, and then found herself in the midst of history-changing events. Earlier journalism training prompted her to record the events and insights gained.

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 a Scent of Danger
 Fall of Communism
 live and travel in Europe
 Soviet Union President
 socio-political anxieties

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