In November 1997 Hungarians voted in favor of membership in NATO, primarily as a step toward membership in the European Union and integration into Western society. Andor examines the changes in Hungarian social, political, and economic life after the collapse of communism in Central Europe. He analyzes the difficulties, both internal and external, to making that transition. In the early 1990s, public discourse was dominated by the enthusiastic slogans proclaiming Hungary's "return to Europe." "Things can only get better" was the prevailing feeling surrounding the dismantling of the state socialist system and the construction of the new parliamentary democracy. From the very early years of transition, however, Hungarians faced large-scale and unexpected hardships in their changing lives which made them the most disappointed nation in Eastern Europe by 1993. In the second half of the 1990s, the policies of the Socialist-Liberal coalition, and particularly the positive developments in the enlargement process of NATO and the EU, restored the belief in a rapid and successful accession to the major Western economic and security organizations. But, as Andor indicates, the beginnings of negotiations about entry into NATO and EU will be merely the starting point of difficulties arising in both economics and politics. A thoughtful and cautious look at a changing Hungary that will be of interest to scholars, researchers, and policymakers involved with Central Europe and contemporary European politics and economics.