Which socialism, whose détente? : West European communism and the Czechoslovak crisis, 1968 /
Maud Bracke.
Budapest, Hungary ; New York : Central European University Press, 2007.
414 p.
9637326944 (cloth), 9789637326943 (cloth)
More Details
Budapest, Hungary ; New York : Central European University Press, 2007.
9637326944 (cloth)
9789637326943 (cloth)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-07-01:
This is a rigorous comparative analysis of the relations of the two major West European communist parties, the French and Italian, with the Soviet Union and its East-Central European bloc from 1956, when the post-Stalin world communist movement (WCM) was reconstituted under Khrushchev, until the end of the 1970s. Bracke (Univ. of Glasgow) dresses her introductory first chapter in a rather artificial "scientific" jargon, but the rest of the book is a sharp, thoughtful, graciously written study, based on impressive research in the archives of the French and Italian parties, as well as from East German records, for insights into Soviet actions. The author lucidly organizes her book in small numbered sections with concluding section summaries. The interactions between the two Western parties and the Moscow-led WCM evolved before the background of the Cold War detente, which in turn related to Italian and French domestic politics. The key event that transformed the positions of the two communist parties was the Czechoslovak crisis of 1968. The book does not change the overall understanding of the positions and roles of the two parties, but it adds much rich detail and subtlety. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. Prowe Carleton College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
"The 1968-1969 Czechoslovak crisis was first and foremost a major crisis of European detente. While the Prague Spring was made possible by the immediate and unchecked consequences of early detente in Europe, its crushing sharply brought out the contradictions of detente as understood by the global Cold War protagonists. In a similar way as the Czecho-slovak crisis reflected the ambivalence at the heart of detente, the West European Communist Parties' responses to it revealed the ambivalence of detente as a context for radical social change, either in the East of the West. The scholarly literature on the PCI and PCF has, often in an unproblematic way, understood the shift from Cold War to detente on the European continent in the mid-1960s as a development essentially positive to these parties. The present study argues against this and demonstrates how the shift from the Cold War of the 1950s to detente in Europe reformulated the impasse of revolution or radical change in the West, rather than putting an end to it." Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 01
West European Communism and Internationalism Theoretical and Analytical Frameworkp. 05
Internationalism and West European communism in the literaturep. 05
The concepts and the methodp. 13
The Czechoslovak crisis in the longer termp. 25
Introducing the contextsp. 31
West European Communism and Internationalism, 1956-1967p. 47
West European Communism and the Changes of 1956p. 49
1956p. 49
The PCI and PCF in the post-1956 communist worldp. 57
The PCI, the PCF and changes in internationalism, 1956-1962p. 62
West European Communism and Internationalism 1962-1967p. 83
The communist world: the Sino-Soviet dispute and diversificationp. 84
East-West relations and the rise of European detentep. 92
The PCI: the symmetry of domestic and international developmentsp. 101
The PCF: the asymmetry of domestic and international developmentsp. 110
Conclusions to Part Ip. 129
The Prague Spring, the Invasion, the Dissentp. 131
West European communism and the Prague Spring: reform and detentep. 133
The Prague Spring: which socialism?p. 133
Responses in the communist worldp. 142
The PCF: saving "communist unity"p. 148
The PCI: supporting reformp. 167
Concluding remarksp. 180
Invasion, Dissent, Crisisp. 197
The invasion of Czechoslovakiap. 198
The aftermath and the "normalization"p. 203
The dissentp. 209
The politics of identity: party crisis and domestic tensionp. 223
Concluding remarksp. 231
Normalization and Realignmentp. 241
Individual realignmentp. 242
The realignment of the communist world after Czechoslovakiap. 254
Concluding remarksp. 264
Internationalism After Czechoslovakiap. 273
Resetting Internationalism 1969-1970p. 275
The PCIp. 276
The PCFp. 294
Internationalism and Eurocommunism in the 1970sp. 323
The enduring problem of European strategyp. 325
The coming about and break-up of Eurocommunismp. 341
Conclusions to Part IIIp. 361
General Conclusions: Internationalism, Detente, Revolutionp. 365
Abbreviationsp. 373
Membership figures for the PCI and PCF, 1956-1979p. 375
Electoral results for the PCI and PCF (per cent), 1956-1979p. 376
Primary sourcesp. 377
Bibliographyp. 379
Indexp. 405
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem