Catalogue

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The education of a Canadian : my life as a scholar and activist /
H. Gordon Skilling.
imprint
Montreal : Published for Carleton University by McGill-Queen's University Press, c2000.
description
xiii, 450 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
088629357X (bound) :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Montreal : Published for Carleton University by McGill-Queen's University Press, c2000.
isbn
088629357X (bound) :
catalogue key
4198827
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-07-01:
This is a personal odyssey of one of Canada's foremost political scientists, H. Gordon Skilling, beginning with his student years at Oxford through his long-term faculty appointment at the University of Toronto. Skilling relates his personal experiences covering the tense period in Europe prior to the outbreak of WW II through the collapse of communism in the 1990s. He offers a frank account of his personal transformation from student idealism to a more critical academic stance regarding the failures of the communist experiment. Throughout this journey, Skilling continued to focus on Czechoslovakia from a subjugated state to the Velvet Revolution of the 1990s. The book records conversations with writers, journalists, scholars, and friends, and includes a personal foreword by Czech President Vaclav Havel. In 1993, Skilling was awarded the Order of the White Lion--Czechoslovakia's highest honor given to a foreign national. Recommended for general readers and professionals. V. McHale Case Western Reserve University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2001
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Summaries
Main Description
Gordon Skilling writes candidly of each way station in this personal odyssey: the idealism of his student years at the University of Toronto and Oxford; his presence in Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Nazi, and later Soviet, invasions; his opposition to the Marshall Plan, NATO, and U.S. intervention in Korea; the effect of McCarthyism on his academic life; his involvement with the Czech and Slovak dissident movements and finally the Velvet Revolution. The Education of a Canadian also captures conversations with writers, journalists, scholars, and myriad friends throughout Russia and Eastern Europe (including Havel, Djilas, and Sakharov), making this history a distinctly human yet forceful document of profound humanity and international scope.
Unpaid Annotation
This captivating memoir by one of Canada's preeminent and honoured scholars records a life devoted to understanding both the history and destiny of world communism. It also reveals a life lived at the heart of the Soviet experiment, especially as it was tried and tested in Czechoslovakia. The work is a "living history" of some of the most dramatic periods of change in our time, seen first through the eyes of an early and ardent "fellow traveller, ' then through the sharper lens of an academic striving to make sense of Soviet failures and gross injustices, and finally from the perspective of an experienced scholar, activist, and social critic.Gordon Skilling writes candidly of each way station in this personal odyssey: the idealism of his student years at the University of Toronto and Oxford; his presence in Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Nazi, and later Soviet, invasions; his opposition to the Marshall Plan, NATO, and U.S. intervention in Korea; the effect of McCarthyism on his academic life; his involvement with the Czech and Slovak dissident movements, and finally the Velvet Revolution.
Table of Contents
Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
Death of a Countryp. 1
Growing Up on College Streetp. 16
Becoming a Socialist: Torontop. 29
Moving to the Left: Oxfordp. 42
Embarking on Czech Studies: London and Praguep. 58
The War Years: The Midwest and Montrealp. 78
The "Wisconsin Idea" and the United Nationsp. 98
The Cold War Begins: Stalinism in Praguep. 110
The Cold War Deepens: McCarthyism in the U.S.p. 131
Russian and East European Studies: Torontop. 152
Probing the Enigma of Communismp. 166
Journeys East from Viennap. 180
A Summer of Ferment: Prague and Bratislavap. 225
The Interrupted Revolutionp. 249
Neo-Stalinism: Socialism with Goose-Fleshp. 269
Charter 77p. 286
In Defence of Human Rightsp. 319
An Emerging Civil Society: Vaclav Havelp. 340
The Velvet Revolution: Independence and Partitionp. 370
Indexp. 407
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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