Central Europe - here, Poland, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia and Hungary - is at the centre of international attention since the Soviet collapse. An understanding of its postwar history is critical to an appreciation of the challenges facing its present rulers. This is an engrossing account of the installation, development, operation and eventual downfall of its (very different) communist regimes, and the transition to the freedoms and uncertainties of the post-Soviet world. The book covers political, economic, social and cultural change, emphasising the crucial relationships with the USSR throughout.

chapter 1|20 pages

Introduction and General Survey

chapter 4|21 pages

The Politics of Stalinism

chapter 7|22 pages

De-Stalinization and Political Instability

chapter 8|21 pages

The Politics of Mature Communism

chapter 9|17 pages

The Military Basis of the Communist Order

chapter 10|20 pages

The Regional Economic Framework

chapter 11|34 pages

The End of Communist Rule

chapter 13|16 pages

Conclusion: the Weight of History