Communism in Eastern Europe is a groundbreaking new survey of the history of Eastern Europe since 1945. It examines how Communist governments came to Eastern Europe, how they changed their societies and the legacies that persisted after their fall. Written from the perspective of the 21st century, this book shows how Eastern Europe’s trajectory since 1989 fits into the longer history of its Communist past.
Rather than focusing on high politics, Communism in Eastern Europe concentrates on the politics of daily life, melding political history with social, cultural and gender history. It tells the history of this complicated era through the voices and experiences of ordinary people. By focusing on the complex interactions of everyday life, Communism in Eastern Europe illuminates the world Communism made in Eastern Europe, its politics and culture, values and dreams, successes and failures.
This book is an engaging introduction to the history of Communist Eastern Europe for any reader. It is ideal for adoption in a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses in 20th-century European history.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Introduction. The Communist World of Eastern Europe
1. Communism Comes to Eastern Europe
2. Creating a Stalinist Society
3. Socialist Modernity in the 1950s and 1960s
4. Reform and Retrenchment, 1956–1968
5. Consumerism and its Consequences during Late Socialism
6. Decade of Crisis
7. From Communism to Neoliberalism
8. Eastern Europe in the 21st Century
Melissa Feinberg is Professor of History at Rutgers University. She is the author of Curtain of Lies: The Battle over Truth in Stalinist Eastern Europe and Elusive Equality: Gender, Citizenship and the Limits of Democracy in Czechoslovakia, 1918–1950.
Melissa Feinberg offers a fresh view on a momentous historical period through the prism of lived experience and a decisively comparative perspective. Extending into the 21st century, this book is comprehensive while crisp, accessible, and relatable, a must-read for anyone interested in the region and the time.
Theodora Dragostinova, Associate Professor of History, Ohio State University
Melissa Feinberg’s Communism in Eastern Europe is a major achievement, integrating the latest scholarship on the region in lucid and engaging prose. The book illustrates key developments in the political, economic, social, and cultural life of Communist Eastern Europe with lively accounts of the every-day lives of ordinary citizens. Communism in Eastern Europe is well-suited to students of Cold War Europe, and to all readers seeking a compact synthesis of recent work on consumption, gender, and everyday life in the region. It is also a pleasure to read and would be a fine companion for travelers to Central and Eastern Europe who want to understand the uneven path these countries have taken to European and global integration since the revolutions of 1989.
Eagle Glassheim, Professor of History, University of British Columbia