Vilified and marginalized, the Romani people—widely referred to as Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers—are seen as a people without place, either geographically or socially, no matter where they live or what they do. In this new chronological history of the Romani, Another Darkness, Another Dawn demonstrates how their experiences provide a way to understand mainstream society’s relationship with outsiders and immigrants. Becky Taylor follows the Gypsies, Roma, and Travelers from their roots in the Indian subcontinent to their travels across the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to Western Europe and the Americas, exploring their persecution and enslavement at the hands of others. Rather than seeing these peoples as separate from society and untouched by history, she sets their experiences in the context of broader historical changes. Their history, she reveals, is ultimately linked to the founding of empires; the Reformation and Counter-Reformation; numerous wars; the expansion of law, order, and nation-states; the Enlightenment; nationalism; modernity; and the Holocaust. Taylor also shows how the lives of the Romani today reflect the increasing regulation of modern society. Ultimately, she demonstrates that history is not always about progress: the place of Gypsies remains as contested and uncertain today as it was upon their first arrival in Western Europe in the fifteenth century. As much a history of Europe as of the Romani, Another Darkness, Another Dawn paints a revealing portrait of a people who still struggle to be understood.
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