1. When and where does the book open, and what special event begins the story?
The book opens in 1981 in the small village of Bukowo.The book opens with a special event -- the Communist government agrees to hold discussions with the protesting farmers in Bukowo.
2. What is Szymon Bukowski's role in the special event the beginning of the book?
Szymon Bukowski is the Minister of Agriculture for the Communist government. Since the farmers' protests threaten the nation's food supply, it is his job to deal with the situation. He is determined to defeat the farmers and to not meet their requests.
3. What complaint do the farmers make at the beginning of the book?
At the beginning of the book, the farmers claim the government system isn't functioning. They can't get the supplies they need and some of their output is rotting in the ground while the city population is standing in long lines waiting for food. Much agricultural output is by passing the government system and used in barter transactions so the farmers can survive. They want a return to the old way of farming which they claim will lead to more output.
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