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 28, 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.

Title:Defeat of Solidarity: Anger And Politics In Postcommunist EuropeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:250 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.23 inPublished:September 28, 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

"The Defeat of Solidarity is a vigorous plea for bringing labor back into the study of post-communist politics. Well documented and based exclusively on the 'special' case of Poland, this book by David Ost nevertheless raises crucial issues affecting all of Eastern Central Europe. The stark contrast he draws between the politics of class interest and alien identity—as alternative means for—congealing anger' in the course of democratization may not convince everyone, but it does make an original and provocative contribution to the literature."—Philippe C. Schmitter, European University Institute