Birth of Freedom: Shaping Lives and Societies in the New Easter Euro

Birth of Freedom: Shaping Lives and Societies in the New Easter Euro

by Andrew Nagorski
     
 
In THE BIRTH OF FREEDOM, Andrew Nagorski provides an unprecedented personal look at the individuals and issues in the newly free nations of Eastern Europe. He takes readers into the hearts of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia as they undergo the painful yet exhilarating transformation into modern democratic states.

Overview

In THE BIRTH OF FREEDOM, Andrew Nagorski provides an unprecedented personal look at the individuals and issues in the newly free nations of Eastern Europe. He takes readers into the hearts of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia as they undergo the painful yet exhilarating transformation into modern democratic states.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nagorski, Newsweek 's Eastern European correspondent, a Polish-American who lives in Warsaw, is an extremely knowledgeable, perceptive, informative guide through post-communist Mitteleuropa. Focusing on Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland--and peripherally on Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine--he tracks the opening chapter and background of a still unfolding story. Nagorski shows us myriad debilitating effects of communist governance on the subjugated, the erosion of their respect for law, the demeaning of their self-esteem, personal integrity and sense of mutual responsibility. As a result, the transition to freedom and a market economy continue to prove troubled, he observes, and inevitably the deprived populace disregard warnings about the spiritual dangers of Western consumerism, even when voiced by the much-respected Pope and by Vaclav Havel. Still, the initial mania is receding, Nagorski finds, and the ``New Europeans'' are becoming less adulatory of all things Western. He updates us on the Catholic Church's waning influence in Poland, the spread of pluralism throughout the region, the crippled situation in the unfunded arts, the revolution in education. As people struggle to purge the old system, a healing is ``perhaps probable,'' Nagorski concludes, although, he also cautions, ``nothing is inevitable or necessarily irreversible.'' (Sept.)
Library Journal
Nagorski, Newsweek 's Eastern Europe correspondent, has written an erudite and fascinating chronicle of the emergence of civil society in Poland, Hungary, and what was once Czechoslovakia. Unlike so many accounts of the radical changes in the former USSR and Eastern Europe that merely recount anecdotes (e.g., Stephen Brook's Claws of the Crab , LJ 8/93; Richard Krooth & Boris Vladimirovitz's Quest for Freedom , LJ 2/1/93; Leland Cooper & Andrea Kenesei's Hungarians in Transition , LJ 6/1/93), Nagorski's work manages to weave the history and literature into a seamless narrative, making for a much richer book. Nagorski argues that the power of ideas was instrumental to the transformation of Eastern European societies, and he ably traces the evolution of opposition from scattered dissidents to a unified grass-roots movement that changed the course of the region's history. Recommended as a very good introduction for general current events collections. -- Joseph Parsons, Columbia Coll., Chicago

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439154267
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
12/18/2008
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

During a long career at Newsweek, award-winning journalist Andrew Nagorski served as the magazine’s bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. He is the author of several books and has written for countless publications. Visit his website: AndrewNagorski.com.

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