Wine From Raisins: a Life Transformed through Communist Gulag to Canadian Arctic


by Josef Svoboda;

Wine From Raisins: a Life Transformed through Communist Gulag to Canadian Arctic
Publication date: 2017-09-01
Number of pages: 240
ISBN: 9782896883882

This remarkable memoir traces the life of Josef Svoboda — political prisoner, climate change pioneer, scientist and a man of profound faith. From his earliest days in Czechoslovakia, Svoboda had to overcome daunting challenges: growing up during the Nazi occupation of the Second World War, being arrested for his resistance to the hardline Communist regime that had taken over his homeland, to enduring hunger, deprivation, beatings and solitary confinement in forced labour camps in uranium mines.

Yet, during this dark period, his Catholic faith remained a constant source of light, finding support from a clandestine seminary in the heart of the prison. Even upon his release, Svoboda continued to find that that he would never be free, and, in the Prague Spring of 1968, he fled the country and landed in Canada as a refugee. He earned a doctorate from the University of Alberta, and a teaching position in botany at the University of Toronto. What followed was a storied career in which Svoboda became one of Canada’s pioneers in the work addressing climate change.

This book tells a story of faith, perseverance, idealism and a passionate love for all of God’s creation.

Professor Emeritus in biology at University of Toronto, Josef Svoboda is the author of numerous research articles and books on Arctic ecology. He has written widely and spoken to audiences throughout the world on this topic. Svoboda has also received numerous academic and societal awards for his work. In 2017, he was conferred papal knighthood and admitted to the Order of Pope St. Sylvester for his dedication and active service to the Church.

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