- Audio CD
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307938824
- ISBN-13: 978-0307938824
- Package Dimensions: 17.8 x 16.8 x 4.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,936,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
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Top Customer Reviews
Later still, and I started to meet people from 'Eastern Europe' and found my ideas were challenged. Not least, people from the Czech Republic and Poland aren't especially impressed with the 'East/West' dichotomy and see themselves as inhabitants of central Europe, a place that was never in my old books. I have visited both countries, and found that the old Habsburg cities survived the horrors of World Wars and Communism, if not intact, then with their historic hearts still beating. I realised that my earlier ideas weren't just challenged, but wrong. So was Communist 'Eastern' Europe just a veneer, or a piece of Western propaganda? How did the Soviet Union come to dominate such a large territory so completely?
So it was with some interest I looked forward to the paperback publication of this book; the title alone seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.Read more ›
Over the course of 450 pages, Applebaum shows, layer by layer, how the Russians went about imposing socialism on those Eastern European countries under its control after the end of the war. She shows how the involuntary imposition of a political ideology on a country can only be achieved by means of force and is thus doomed to become a totalitarian rule, no matter what the initial intention of that ideology. In this respect, the simple showing-how-it-was-done, the book is a total success. It is so good, in fact, that it could almost be used as a guidebook on how to set up a totalitarian state. In her attention to this nuts-and-bolts approach, however, Applebaum often neglects to really convey the profound impact the Kremlin's overarching decisions about moving populations and building factories and educating children had on individuals in the same way a Beevor or Hastings might.Read more ›
The book focuses upon how Governments used the threat of terror to gain public support and then used propaganda and lying to hide their failures. I am sorry but there is a far greater depth of analysis needed to understand control and taking of power in these countries. If you take just two examples Matyas Rakosi in Hungry and Wladyslaw Gomulka in Poland you can see the simplifications to the theory by the author do not explain the whole story. Rakosi was deemed too dangerous and too cruel in his treatment of the Hungarians by Moscow, that Moscow decided he had to go. Yes he kept order, yes he destroyed minority discontent but it was the Soviet Union itself who did not want this type of person in charge of Hungry so they themselves removed him. If terror was the name of the game Rakosi would have been kept in power.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a previous reviewer has mentioned, this book might be more easily understood after a history of the 2nd world war but I think that it's still an extremely accessible stand-alone... Read morePublished 16 months ago by D. Obermaier
very readable fascinating fall on well researched she is one of the great authors of our timePublished 18 months ago by julia wilson
Anne Applebaum has provided a full and complete study of the USSR's total subordination of an entire region over the period of a decade. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Adrian J. Smith