Velvet Revolutions: An Oral History of Czech Society

Hardcover | January 15, 2016

byMiroslav Vanek, Pavel Mucke

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The Velvet Revolution in November 1989 brought about the collapse of the authoritarian communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia, marking the beginning of the country's journey towards democracy. Though members of the elite have spoken about the transition to democracy, the experiencesof ordinary people have largely gone untold. In Velvet Revolutions, Miroslav Vanek and Pavel Mucke examine the values of everyday citizens who lived under so-called real socialism, as well as how their values changed after the 1989 collapse. Based on 300 interviews, Vanek and Mucke give voice to everyone from farmers to managers, serviceworkers to marketing personnel, manual laborers to members of the armed forces. Compelling and diverse, the oral histories touch upon the experience - and absence - of freedom, the value of family and friends, the experience of free time, and perceptions of foreign nations. Data from opinion pollsconducted between 1970 and 2013 factor into the book's analysis, creating a well-rounded view of the ways in which popular thoughts, trends, and attitudes changed as Czech society transitioned from communism to democracy. From this rich foundation, Velvet Revolutions builds a multi-layered view of Czech history before 1989 and during the subsequent period of democratic transformation.

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The Velvet Revolution in November 1989 brought about the collapse of the authoritarian communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia, marking the beginning of the country's journey towards democracy. Though members of the elite have spoken about the transition to democracy, the experiencesof ordinary people have largely gone untold....

Miroslav Vanek is Director of the Department of Oral History and Contemporary History at Charles University in Prague and President of the International Oral History Assocation. Pavel Mucke is Lecturer of Oral History and Contemporary History at Charles University in Prague.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199342725

ISBN - 13:9780199342723

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments: The Privilege of Listening to the Voices of MemoryIntroduction1. I Want to be Free!: Freedom as a Fundamental Human Value2. The Family under Socialism and in the Whirlwind of Transformation3. Friends and the Others: How Czechs Evaluate Foreigners and Foreign Countries4. Education: A Gateway to Success in Life?5. From the Requirement to Work to Looking for Work6. Perception of Free Time: Work, Family, and Leisure7. Us and Them: Eternal Predestination?ConclusionOur NarratorsBibliography