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

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

By: Bradley F. Abrams (author)Paperback

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Description

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.

About Author

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

Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: The Cold War and Contemporary Understandings of the Communist Takeover of Czechoslovakia Part 2 Part I: Czech Intellectuals Enter the Postwar World Chapter 3 World War II and the East European Revolution Chapter 4 Intellectuals in the Czech Environment Chapter 5 Four Groups of Czech Intellectuals Part 6 Part II: The Interpretation and Reinterpretation of Czech History and the Reorientation of the Czech Nation Chapter 7 The Communist Aim: The Creation of a New Czechoslovakia Chapter 8 The Battle Over the Recent Past I: The Experiences of Munich and World War II Chapter 9 The Battle Over the Recent Past II: The First Republic and Toma? G. Masaryk Chapter 10 The Shift in Sensibilities and Generations: May 5, 1945 Versus October 28, 1918 Chapter 11 The Reorientation of National Identity: Czechs Between East and West Part 12 Part III: The Meaning of Socialism Chapter 13 Socialism and Communist Intellectuals: The "Czechoslovak Road to Socialism" Chapter 14 Socialism and Democratic Socialist Intellectuals: The "New Socialist Ethos" Chapter 15 Socialism and Roman Catholic Intellectuals: The "Fateful Struggle between Spirit and Matter" Chapter 16 Socialism and Protestant Intellectuals: The "Kingdom of God on Earth"? Chapter 17 Conclusion: The End of Czechoslovak Democracy and the Rise of Communism in Eastern Europe

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780742530249
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 372
  • ID: 9780742530249
  • weight: 553
  • ISBN10: 0742530248

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