Burdens of Freedom: Eastern Europe Since 1989 (Global History of the Present Series)

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Overview


From Estonia to Macedonia, this book is a history of 15 countries as they negotiate their transition from communism. For some, the story ends happily, with triumphant entry into the European Union in 2004.Others are caught in limbo, destroyed by nationalist politics, war and genocide, or crippled by corrupt political practices.

The Burdens of Freedom considers the effects of revolutionary change, the resurgence of nationalism and the painful examination of the past. It looks at the process of building stable democratic states, and their integration with international structures. Most of the countries have established admission to the EU as a national objective; but many of them have also been active participants in the American-led occupation of Iraq. Domestically, each has seen a divide emerge between winners and losers. All are moving forward simultaneously to democracy, unity and prosperity, but also to national division and economic disparity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An exceedingly useful book - a sensible and perspicacious assessment of the complex and often just plain confusing developments after 1989. And an exciting read. Kenney highlights the strenuous processes of democratic nation-building and reminds us that, despite set-backs and outright disasters, democratic nations can be built in the twenty-first century and that Europe has become a different continent for it."—Michael Geyer, Department of History, University of Chicago

"Padraic Kenney's insightful survey of Eastern Europe since the fall of communism combines sensitive local histories with sophisticated general theory. The Burdens of Freedom makes sense of the paradoxical development of a vast and diverse region: its arduous economic transitions, its accommodation of painful pasts, and despite intervening disillusion and setbacks, its emerging civic stamina."—Charles S. Maier, Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University and author of Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842776636
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 10/14/2006
  • Series: Global History of the Present
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Padraic Kenney is author of several books on East European history and politics, including A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe, 1989 (2002). He divides his time between Wroclaw, Poland, and Boulder, Colorado, where he is Professor of History at the University of Colorado.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgements; Maps;
Introduction: The Shock of the New
1. Different Paths on an Open Road: Economic and Social Change
2. In Praise of Ethnic Cleansing? National Struggles
3. Peeling the Past: Nostalgia and Punishment
4. Portraits in Hubris: Democratic Politics
5. A New Europe: The East in the West
Conclusion: The Edge of History
Notes; Index
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