Exit from Communism
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Since 1989, it has been possible to review what has been published both at home and abroad on the communist states of Central and Eastern Europe and, no less importantly, on the Soviet Union itself, from a new perspective. Few have chosen to engage in this Herculean task, whether out of a residual civility in not wishing to mock certain aging scholars whose research would appear curiously dated, or out of a sense of fatigue with the whole subject of casting aspersions on mistaken views. A New Europe for the Old? asks whether the master narratives that circulated so widely in the West in the half-century since 1945 remain valid.
Stephen Graubard's volume raises pertinent questions regarding the current state of the European world as it has evolved since 1989. He includes contributions from important scholars around the world: "A New Europe for the Old?" by Martin Malia; "The Serbs: The Sweet and Rotten Smell of History" by Tim Judah; "Illyrianism and the Croatian Quest for Statehood" by Marcus Tanner; "To Be or Not to Be Balkan: Romania's Quest for Self-Definition" by Tom Gallagher; "Ukraine: From an Imperial Periphery to Sovereign State" by Roman Szporlunk; "Ethnic Nationalism in the Russian Federation" by Anatoly M. Khazanov; "Im Osten viel Neues: Plenty of News from the Eastern Lnder" by Barbara Ischinger; "Discourse and (Dis)Integration in Europe: The Cases of France, Germany, and Great Britain" by Vivien A. Schmidt; "The European Debate on Citizenship" by Dominique Schnapper; "Has the Nation Died? The Debate Over Italy's Identity (and Future)" by Dario Biocca; and "Postwar Europe" by Arne Roth.
A New Europe for the Old? provides greater sympathy for the complexity of societies, and argues for greater tolerance of those that are small, and that do not cast a long shadow in the world of today. In the twenty-first as in the twentieth century, they may be engines of change, both as a result of the disorder that they produce as well as the ways in which their values, however seemingly antiquated, survive and prosper, and not only in their native lands. This volume will intrigue historians and European studies scholars alike.
Stephen R. Graubard is editor of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and its journal, Daedalus, and professor of humanities at Brown University.