The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation: Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism (The Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series)

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9780742530249: The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation: Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism (The Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series)

The material effects of World War II, in combination with Eastern Europe's disappointingly undemocratic interwar history, placed radical social change on the postwar agenda across the region and shaped the debates that took place in immediate postwar Czech society. These debates adopted both a cultural form, in struggles over the meaning of the recent past and the nation's position on the East-West continuum, and a directly political form, in battles over the meaning of socialism.

The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation examines the most important and politically resonant fields of historical and cultural debate in Czech society immediately after World War II. Bradley Abrams finds that communist public figures were largely successful in controlling debate over the nation's recent past―the interwar First Republic and the experiences of Munich and World War II―and over its location on the East–West continuum. This success preceded and was mirrored in the struggles over the political issue of the times: socialism. The communists engaged their political foes in the democratic socialist and Roman Catholic camps, and, surprisingly, found significant support from a major Protestant church.

Abrams's careful reading of major publications re-creates a postwar mood sympathetic to radical social change, questioning the standard view of the communists' rise to power. This book not only contributes to the specific literature on Czech history, but also raises questions about the relationship between war and radical social change, about the communist takeover of the region, and about the role of intellectuals in public life.

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About the Author:

Bradley F. Abrams is associate professor of history at Columbia University.

Review:

Extraordinary. . . . Abrams's superb work can be read with profit by generalists as well as by historians of Central and Eastern Europe. Highly recommended. (CHOICE)

Abrams work will certainly set the standard on this subject for years to come. (Melissa Feinberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Habsburg, March 2005)

An important part of the scholarly reexamination of the cold war since the fall of European communism is the questioning of traditionally accepted verities. One of the most hallowed of these is the notion that the establishment of communism in Central and Eastern Europe was purely a function of Soviet military occupation. That this was not the case in Czechoslovakia, and perhaps, by analogy, not nearly as much as we once believed to have been the case in other countries, is the theme of Bradley Abrams'sexcellent book.... [T]he period from 1945 to 1948...is minutely and superbly studied. We are all indebted to Abrams for so beautifully reminding us that history really does have something to teach us, even when it is about an episode that most of the world would rather forget.. (East European Politics and Societies and Cultures)

Overall, this is an excellent book, meticulously researched and well organized, it succeeds in setting a new agenda for Czechoslovak history in the Cold War-free world. (Sam Johnson, University of Sheffield Seer)

Abram's work is well researched. It would be a very useful read for undergraduates in history, Czech culture courses or for those readying themselves for study abroad in Prague. (Cynthia A. Klima, SUNY: College at Geneso Slavic and East European Journal)

The communist seizure of power in Czechoslovakia, a country known for its democratic exceptionalism during the interwar era, has long attracted the interest of historians of the region. With this intellectual history of Czechoslovakia's postwar political culture, Bradley F. Abrams makes a valuable addition to the historiography of the topic.By carefully reconstructing the development of postwar political culture in Czechoslovakia, Abrams lays to rest any remaining notion of a top-down imposition of communism by Soviet outsiders who together with a few domestic fellow travelers subverted Czechoslovakia in 1948. As he demonstrates, the Communist Party had broad popular support in Czechoslovakia. Clearly written and well argued, this volume should be of interest to modern European historians as well as to those involved in Cold War and communist/postcommunist studies. (Nancy M. Wingfield, Northern Illinois University American Historical Review)

An important part of the scholarly reexamination of the cold war since the fall of European communism is the questioning oftraditionally accepted verities. One of the most hallowed of these is the notion that the establishment of communism in Central and Eastern Europe was purely a function of Soviet military occupation. That this was not the case in Czechoslovakia, and perhaps, by analogy, not nearly as much as we once believed to have been the case in other countries, is the theme of Bradley Abrams's excellent book.... [T]he period from 1945 to 1948...is minutely and superbly studied. We are all indebted to Abrams for so beautifully reminding us that history really does have something to teach us, even when it is about an episode that most of the world would rather forget. (East European Politics and Societies and Cultures)

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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This original study revisits the critical historical and cultural debates in Czech society immediately following World War II. Bradley F. Abrams discovers that communist public figures were largely successful in controlling the discourse over the nation s recent past the interwar First Republic and the experiences of Munich and World War II and over its location on the East-West continuum. This success was later mirrored in the struggles over socialism, the burning political issue of the time. The communists engaged their political foes in the democratic socialist and Roman Catholic camps, and, surprisingly, found significant support from a major Protestant church. The author s careful reading of major publications of the day vividly recreates a postwar mood sympathetic to radical social change, thus casting doubt on the standard view of the communists rise to power. A rich contribution to our understanding of Czech history, this book also raises provocative questions about the relationship between war and radical social change, the communist takeover of the region, and the role of intellectuals in public life. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780742530249

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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This original study revisits the critical historical and cultural debates in Czech society immediately following World War II. Bradley F. Abrams discovers that communist public figures were largely successful in controlling the discourse over the nation s recent past the interwar First Republic and the experiences of Munich and World War II and over its location on the East-West continuum. This success was later mirrored in the struggles over socialism, the burning political issue of the time. The communists engaged their political foes in the democratic socialist and Roman Catholic camps, and, surprisingly, found significant support from a major Protestant church. The author s careful reading of major publications of the day vividly recreates a postwar mood sympathetic to radical social change, thus casting doubt on the standard view of the communists rise to power. A rich contribution to our understanding of Czech history, this book also raises provocative questions about the relationship between war and radical social change, the communist takeover of the region, and the role of intellectuals in public life. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780742530249

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Descripción Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 372 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.1in. x 1.2in.The material effects of World War II, in combination with Eastern Europes disappointingly undemocratic interwar history, placed radical social change on the postwar agenda across the region and shaped the debates that took place in immediate postwar Czech society. These debates adopted both a cultural form, in struggles over the meaning of the recent past and the nations position on the East-West continuum, and a directly political form, in battles over the meaning of socialism. The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation examines the most important and politically resonant fields of historical and cultural debate in Czech society immediately after World War II. Bradley Abrams finds that communist public figures were largely successful in controlling debate over the nations recent past the interwar First Republic and the experiences of Munich and World War II and over its location on the East West continuum. This success preceded and was mirrored in the struggles over the political issue of the times: socialism. The communists engaged their political foes in the democratic socialist and Roman Catholic camps, and, surprisingly, found significant support from a major Protestant church. Abramss careful reading of major publications re-creates a postwar mood sympathetic to radical social change, questioning the standard view of the communists rise to power. This book not only contributes to the specific literature on Czech history, but also raises questions about the relationship between war and radical social change, about the communist takeover of the region, and about the role of intellectuals in public life. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780742530249

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