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Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment

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Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. In one of modern history’s most miraculous occurrences, communism imploded–and not with a bang, but with a whimper. Now two of the foremost scholars of East European and Soviet affairs, Stephen Kotkin and Jan T. Gross, drawing upon two decades of reflection, revisit this crash. In a crisp, concise, unsentimental narrative, they employ three case studies–East Germany, Romania, and Poland–to illuminate what led Communist regimes to surrender, or to be swept away in political bank runs. This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class–communism’s establishment, or “uncivil society.” The Communists borrowed from the West like drunken sailors to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lessons. From East Germany’s pseudotechnocracy to Romania’s megalomaniacal dystopia, from Communist Poland’s cult of Mary to the Kremlin’s surprise restraint, Kotkin and Gross pull back the curtain on the fraud and decadence that cashiered the would-be alternative to the market and democracy, an outcome that opened up to a deeper global integration that has proved destabilizing.

Synopsis:

The author of Armageddon Averted and the National Book Award-nominated author of Neighbors document the peaceful collapse of communism following the falling of the Berlin Wall, drawing on case studies to illuminate the factors that deconstructed communist establishments.

Synopsis:

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. In one of modern history's most miraculous occurrences, communism imploded-and not with a bang, but with a whimper. Now two of the foremost scholars of East European and Soviet affairs, Stephen Kotkin and Jan T. Gross, drawing upon two decades of reflection, revisit this crash. In a crisp, concise, unsentimental narrative, they employ three case studies-East Germany, Romania, and Poland-to illuminate what led Communist regimes to surrender, or to be swept away in political bank runs. This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class-communism's establishment, or uncivil society. The Communists borrowed from the West like drunken sailors to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lesson

About the Author

\Stephen Kotkin is Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Princeton University, with a joint appointment as Professor of International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School. He is the author of the enormously influential books Magnetic Mountain:Stalinism as a Civilization and Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970—2000 and contributes regularly to The New York Times, The New Republic, and the BBC.

Jan T. Gross a native of Poland, also teaches at Princeton, where he is the Norman B. Tomlinson ’16 and ’48 Professor of War and Society. He was a 2001 National Book Award nominee for his widely acclaimed Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland. His most recent book, Fear:Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz, was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588369178
Subtitle:
1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment
Publisher:
Modern Library
Contributor:
Gross, Jan
Author:
Stephen Kotkin
Author:
Jan Tomasz Gross
Author:
Kotkin, Stephen
Author:
Gross, Jan Tomasz
Subject:
History : Eastern Europe - General
Subject:
Political Science : Political Ideologies - Communism & Socia
Subject:
History : Europe - Former Soviet Republics
Subject:
Eastern Europe - General
Subject:
Europe - Former Soviet Republics
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Communism & Socialism
Subject:
Europe, Eastern Politics and government.
Subject:
Soviet Union Politics and government.
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Europe - Eastern
Subject:
Russia-General Russian History
Subject:
World History-Eastern Europe
Subject:
Western Civilization-20th Century
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20091006
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
197

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Leftist Studies
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Post Soviet Republics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General

Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment
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Product details 197 pages Modern Library - English 9781588369178 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The author of Armageddon Averted and the National Book Award-nominated author of Neighbors document the peaceful collapse of communism following the falling of the Berlin Wall, drawing on case studies to illuminate the factors that deconstructed communist establishments.
"Synopsis" by , Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. In one of modern history's most miraculous occurrences, communism imploded-and not with a bang, but with a whimper. Now two of the foremost scholars of East European and Soviet affairs, Stephen Kotkin and Jan T. Gross, drawing upon two decades of reflection, revisit this crash. In a crisp, concise, unsentimental narrative, they employ three case studies-East Germany, Romania, and Poland-to illuminate what led Communist regimes to surrender, or to be swept away in political bank runs. This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class-communism's establishment, or uncivil society. The Communists borrowed from the West like drunken sailors to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lesson
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