Historians have long claimed Czechoslovakia between the world wars as an island of democracy in a sea of dictatorships. The reasons for the survival of democratic institutions in the Czechoslovak First Republic, with its profound divisions, have never been fully explained, partly because for years critical research was thwarted by the communist state. Drawing on information from European archives, Miller pieces together the story of the party and its longtime leader, Antonín Svehla- the "Master of Compromise," who had an extraordinary capacity to mediate between political parties, factions, and individual political leaders. Miller shows how Svehla's official and behind-the-scenes activities in the parliament provided the new state with stability and continuity.
About the Author
Daniel E. Miller is an associate professor of history at the University of West Florida in Pensacola.