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The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe [Paperback]

Gale Stokes

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The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Collapse and Rebirth in Eastern Europe The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Collapse and Rebirth in Eastern Europe
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Book Description

1 Jan 1993
To account for the revolutions across Eastern Europe in 1989, Gale Stokes looks back to 1968 and provides an accessible analysis and a monumental history of events to the present day. He analyses the nature of communist power and the varying forms of opposition to it, telling the story of the rise of Solidarity in Poland and of the movements for change among dissident intellectuals across the region. Stokes demonstrates that Eastern Europe is freer today than it has been previously in the twentieth century.

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"The indispensable text for my 'History of Communism' course. Lucid treatment of a terribly complicated series of events."--Hugh Phillips, Western Kentucky University"[A] satisfying product that throws much interesting light on developments since 1968 and is sure to be useful as a classroom text."--American Historical Review..".a sweeping, vivid narrative of the gradual collapse of Eastern European Communism, ...the first historical account of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe done by a professional historian. It offers deep understanding of the region in combination with great ability to present the facts....Not only is it perceptive and penetrating, but it is also stylishly written....For students, specialists and anyone else interested in communist studies and recent history, this work is ideal..."--Europe-Asia Studies..".enormously useful, as well as readable...Stokes tells his story effectively."--Slavic Review"A well researched, well reas

About the Author

Gale Stokes is past Dean of Humanities, Chair of the History Department, and a three-time winner of the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice University. He is the author of several books, including From Stalinism to Pluralism: A Documentary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945, Second Edition, (OUP, 1996) and Three Eras of Political Change in Eastern Europe (OUP, 1996).

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The suppression of the Prague Spring was an extremely depressing moment for Socialists on both side of the Iron Curtain. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stokes places Communist Bloc in larger European context 9 May 2000
By Matthew Ellis - Published on
The value of Stokes's account of Communism in Eastern Europe is twofold. First of all, Stokes provides us with an incredibly detailed account of how and why the Communist Bloc nations abandoned their socialist regimes and ended the Cold War. By exploring the roots of the Cold War in the immediate postwar era, Stokes successfully traces the rise and fall of the nuanced Communist regimes of Eastern Europe.
More importantly, however, Stokes puts the rise and fall of the Communist regimes into the context of twentieth century European history and attempts to tackle the larger question of what we can conclude about Europe as a whole. Viewing Europe as inherently united and indivisible, Stokes pegs Communism as the second major tiding that kept Europe apart (Fascism being the first). Just as Communism seemed to be the most expedient solution for postwar recovery after 1945, by 1989, the bloc countries had realized that they had not found the solution.
This book is a must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the dividing force that was Communism, how and why the regimes revolted against it, and where the newly liberated countries are headed. Although it is not an easy book to get through (an abundance of details makes the book particularly dense), it is well worth the effort. For the most part, the writing style is effective and holds your interest, and the understanding of the Cold War and the meaning of the 20th century in Europe is invaluable.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Answers many questions. 6 Mar 2012
By A Critic - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Though relatively brief (compared to other books on communism), this volume is more detailed than most.

The focus of this book is on the Warsaw Pact nations: Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. Albania is not really included, but there is a chapter on Yugoslavia. Internally, the USSR is not really discussed, although, of course, it often enters into the picture tangentally. The Ukraine is also not really discussed.

Often some puzzling intellectual element, such as the terms hyperrationalist or antirationalist, or quotations from politician-intellectuals will undoubtably stop most readers and make them scratch their heads, if they are like me. But despite this, there are a lot of interesting facts which make this volume compelling. Topics range from discussions of the political leadersship of each country to Solidarity and analogous movements to the economic problems facing each country, both of communism and of the westernization process.
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