Communist Czechoslovakia, 1945-89: A Political And Social History

Paperback | September 11, 2015

byKevin McDermott

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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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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 vote...

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

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.52 × 5.5 × 0.55 inPublished:September 11, 2015Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023021715X

ISBN - 13:9780230217157

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

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, 1945-48

2. Stalinism Reigns, 1948-53

3. Social Crisis and the Limits of Reform, 1953-67

4. Czechoslovak Spring, 1968-69

5. Everyday Normalisation, 1969-88

6. 1989: The Demise of Communism

Conclusion: Into the Dustbin of History?

Notes

Bibliography

Index