The Gypsies, seemingly immune to progress, live in an everlasting Now, in a perpetual, heroic present, as if they recognized only the slow pulse of eternity and were content to live in the margin of history."" Probably one of the most unusual, and beautifully presented studies of these people, this book is an anthropological find as well as a fascinating story. The author actually lived the myth. He ran away with a band of European Gypsies at the age of twelve and became a part of them and their way of life for many years. He speaks of the incredible network the Gypsies build around themselves to protect their true culture from the Gaje (non-Gypsy.) He discusses their language, religion, communication, their strict sense of discipline, organization, the rigid mores by which the community lives and their totally different approach to life, their unusual (to the Western mind) sense of value. What emerges is a very affective portrait of a vital people, primitive, practical survivors who do live the moment to the fullest, larger than life. His adopted father, family and particular group, the ""Rom,"" whether carousing, mourning, bartering, begging or outwitting the Gaje, are very human yet distinct. Read it.