Defeat of Solidarity: Anger And Politics In Postcommunist Europe by David OstDefeat of Solidarity: Anger And Politics In Postcommunist Europe by David Ost

Defeat of Solidarity: Anger And Politics In Postcommunist Europe

byDavid Ost

Paperback | September 25, 2006

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How did the fall of communism and the subsequent transition to capitalism in Eastern Europe affect the people who experienced it? And how did their anger affect the quality of the democratic systems that have emerged? Poland offers a particularly provocative case, for it was here where workers most famously seemed to have won, thanks to the role of the Solidarity trade union. And yet, within a few short years, they had clearly lost. An oppressive communist regime gave way to a capitalist society that embraced economic and political inequality, leaving many workers frustrated and angry. Their leaders first ignored them, then began to fear them, and finally tried to marginalize them. In turn, workers rejected their liberal leaders, opening the way for right-wing nationalists to take control of Solidarity.

Ost tells a fascinating story about the evolution of postcommunist society in Eastern Europe. Informed by years of fieldwork in Polish factory towns, scores of interviews with workers, labor activists, and politicians, and an exhaustive reading of primary sources, his new book gives voice to those who have not been heard. But even more, Ost proposes a novel theory about the role of anger in politics to show why such voices matter, and how they profoundly affect political outcomes. Drawing on Poland's experiences, Ost describes lessons relevant to democratization throughout Eastern Europe and to democratic theory in general.

David Ost is Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is the author of Solidarity and the Politics of Anti-Politics: Reform and Opposition in Poland Since 1968 and coeditor of Workers after Workers' States: Labor and Politics in Postcommunist Eastern Europe. Ost also publishes articles in magazines includ...
Title:Defeat of Solidarity: Anger And Politics In Postcommunist EuropeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:500 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.57 inPublished:September 25, 2006Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801473438

ISBN - 13:9780801473432

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Editorial Reviews

"This theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich new book focuses on workers, liberal intellectuals, and the prospects of post-communist democracy. David Ost long ago established himself as a truly original thinker on labor politics in Eastern Europe. His argument that the mobilization of anger along class lines—as opposed to ethnic or religious lines—is the best way to secure liberal democracy will provoke intense discussion in the field for years to come." - Bela Greskovits, Central European University