Reinventing Politics: Eastern Europe from Stalin to Havel

Vladimir Tismaneanu, Author, W. Vladimir Tismaneanu, Author
Vladimir Tismaneanu, Author, W. Vladimir Tismaneanu, Author Free Press $24.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-02-932605-3
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7432-1282-3
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4391-0595-5
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Using primary materials from Eastern European democratic movements, Tismaneanu shows how dissident enclaves, grassroots political groups, independent unions and underground initiatives spearheaded the spontaneous outbursts of discontent that led to the nonviolent collapse of communist dictatorships. Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland--countries with strong underground protest movements--seem to have embarked decisively on the road to an open society, observes Tismaneanu, University of Maryland political scientist. In contrast, Albania, Romania and Yugoslavia, with weaker civic traditions, are now beset by fragmentation and unrest. In an illuminating, exciting comparative analysis of the breakup of the Soviet Union's outer empire, Tismaneanu follows communist governance in each of the Eastern bloc countries from postwar Stalinist intervention to the present. He identifies bureaucratic inertia, renascent authoritarian tendencies and the lure of populist adventurers as key obstacles to democracy. (Apr.)
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