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Communist Czechoslovakia, 1945-89

A Political and Social History

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Publisher:

Red Globe Press

Pages: 272
Series:

European History in Perspective

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Paperback - 9780230217157

11 September 2015

$35.99

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Hardcover - 9780230217140

11 September 2015

$103.99

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Few Europeans in the twentieth century have been subject to the repeated buffetings by foreign powers, ideologically driven transformations and internal upheaval of the Czechs and the Slovaks. The period of Communist rule...

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Few Europeans in the twentieth century have been subject to the repeated buffetings by foreign powers, ideologically driven transformations and internal upheaval of the Czechs and the Slovaks. The period of Communist rule was complex, and those who gleefully overthrew the regime in 1989 were the very grandchildren of those who had voted for Communism with hope in the free elections of 1946. This concise account includes both political and social history, analysing half a century of Communism from at all strata of society. Kevin McDermott is equally intrigued by those in power and ordinary citizens, asking what motivates a young Czech worker-believer to join the Communist Party in the early 1950s, enrol in the People's Militia and remain in the party during the dark years of 'normalisation', yet end up welcoming the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Using Czech and Slovak archival sources and the most recent historiography, McDermott challenges the still dominant 'totalitarian' paradigm and argues that the forty year communist experience in Czechoslovakia cannot simply be dismissed as a Soviet-imposed aberration.

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  • Incorporates the most up-to-date English, Czech and Slovak sources, as well as Czech and Slovak archival material 
  • Challenges the general view of the regime as totalitarian and a foreign imposition 
  • Analyses both social and political history

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations and Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Leading Figures
Presidents of the Czechoslovak Republic, 1945-89
Timeline 1945-89
A Note on Czech Pronunciation
Introduction: Communist Czechoslovakia in Historical Perspective
1. Communism on the Road to Power, 1945-482
Stalinism Reigns, 1948-533
Social Crisis and the Limits of Reform, 1953-674
Czechoslovak Spring, 1968-695
Everyday Normalisation, 1969-886
1989: The Demise of Communism
Conclusion: Into the Dustbin of History?
Notes
Bibliography
Index.

“This new book on communist Czechoslovakia reveals the extent to which we have moved away from the passions of the Cold War to analyses founded on archives rather than ideologies. … This book would serve well for anyone seeking an entry point into the complex world of Soviet-style communism in post-war Europe.” (David Gerlach, European History Quarterly, Vol. 48 (3), July, 2018)“This book should serve as the definitive introduction to the period for all newcomers, as well as an indispensable reference for country experts.” (Kieran Williams, SEER - Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 94 (3), July, 2016) “McDermott’s work should inspire further research into people’s understanding of, and relationship to, Czechoslovak Communism over time. In addition to being a first-rate introductory text for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, McDermott’s impressive book has neatly consolidated an agenda for scholars in the field.” (Chad Bryant, Journal of Modern History, Vol. 90 (2), June, 2018)
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Kevin McDermott is Senior Lecturer in Political History at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

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Kevin McDermott is Senior Lecturer in Political History at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

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