Central Europe - here, Poland, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia and Hungary - is at the centre of international attention since the Soviet collapse. An understanding of its postwar history is critical to an appreciation of the challenges facing its present rulers. This is an engrossing account of the installation, development, operation and eventual downfall of its (very different) communist regimes, and the transition to the freedoms and uncertainties of the post-Soviet world. The book covers political, economic, social and cultural change, emphasising the crucial relationships with the USSR throughout.
'This is a useful volume for advanced undergraduates'
'Informative, wide-ranging and colourful; this is in other words, a very readable, if demanding book, which will reward the non-specialist reader of central Europe since the Second World War.'
List of maps. Abbreviations and acronyms. Editoral foreward. Preface. Chapter 1. Introduction and General survey.
Chapter 2. Foundations of the post-war order in central Europe. Chapter 3. The communist takeover and consolidation of power. Chapter 4. The politics of Stalinism. Chapter 5. Socialist industrialisation and economic development. Chapter 6. Social change and the nature of communist society. Chapter 7. De-Stalinisation and politcal instability. Chapter 8. The politics of mature communism. Chapter 9. The military basis of the communist order.
Chapter 10. The Regional Economic Framework. Chapter 11. The end of communist rule. Chapter 12. Post-communism and the transition to democracy. Chapter 13. Conclusion: the weight of history. Guide to further reading.
Bibliography. Maps. Index.