The unfinished revolution : making sense of the communist past in Central-Eastern Europe /
James Mark.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
xxviii, 312 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
0300167164 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780300167160 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
0300167164 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780300167160 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [270]-290) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-12-01:
Social systems do not disappear overnight; sometimes they are not as "gone" as people think they are. Despite Western triumphalism, the recent past remains very important in Eastern Europe. Although there were real elements of grassroots, "people's revolutions" in the ouster of communist governments in Eastern Europe in 1989, Mark's point of departure is that the "unrevolutionary, negotiated elite ... nature of the system change" failed to produce a heroic narrative or to completely chase former communists from power. When the ex-communist Left showed that it retained electoral power in the 1990s, conservatives (i.e., anti-communist elites) searched for ways to manipulate public memory and discourse so the "unfinished revolution" could continue well after the fall of the Iron Curtain--while still convincing NATO and the EU that their countries were already reconstructed enough to deserve acceptance. The ensuing social mobilization created lots of space for nationalism, hostility to leftism, and historical revisionism. Victims of Stalinist terror, the Holocaust, and Red Army atrocities recalibrated the public expression of their experiences. Mark (Univ. of Exeter, UK) uses oral history in this delightful book to get at the debates over collaboration and agency under the ancien regime, especially in Hungary and Poland. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries. J. K. Cox North Dakota State University
Review Quotes
Included on the six-strong shortlist for this year's Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award (UK Award)
"Mark uses oral history in this delightful book to get at the debates over collaboration and agency under the ancien regime, especially in Hungary and Poland."J.K. Cox, Choice
"The role of history in this battle, fought out in both the political arena and scarred personal psychologies, is [intricate], and Mark traces these complexities with skill." Foreign Affairs
" UnFinished Revolution is one of the best books on east European communism in the last few years."Padraic Kenney, Slavic Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2011
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on a broad range of themes and sources - speeches, public ritual, protest, international disputes, museums, memorials, forensic archaeology, secret police archives, and interviews - this work integrates the study of politics, culture, and social memory across East-Central Europe.
Main Description
While the West has repeatedly been sold images of a victorious people's revolution in 1989, the idea that dictatorship has been truly overcome is foreign to many in the former Communist bloc. In this wide-ranging work, James Mark examines how new democratic societies are still divided by the past.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
The Unfinished Revolutionp. 1
Completing the Revolution: History Commissions and Institutes of National Memoryp. 27
Criminalizing Communism?: History at Terror Sites and in Statue Parks and National Museumsp. 61
Containing Fascism: Anti-Communism is the Age of Holocaust Memoryp. 93
Remaking the Autobiography: Communists and their Pastsp. 126
Victims' Storiesp. 165
The Afterlife of Atrocity: Remembering Red Army Rape after 1989p. 194
Conclusion Divided Societies, Democratic Memory?p. 215
Notesp. 222
Bibliographyp. 270
Indexp. 291
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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