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Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed Paperback – March 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300172427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300172423
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,110,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Heimann's account is a polemic that stimulates interest in a country often ignored in the great sweep of 20th century European history.' (Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times) 'For anyone with a serious interest in Czech history, this is an essential work.' (Frank Kuznik, The Prague Post) 'This is truly a history of Czechoslovakia, not just of Czechs and Slovaks in the twentieth century.' (Kieran Williams, The Times Literary Supplement)"

About the Author

Mary Heimann is senior lecturer in the History Department at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

Customer Reviews

This book in very well researched and written.
Amazon Customer
(Not true,he was in Bavarian army) -There was no Slovak landscape on Czechoslovak postage stamps till 1925 because of Czech chauvinism.
Milan Pospech
In reality, so her conclusion, the Czechs were no better (and, sometimes, indeed, even far worse!)
Dr. Gerhard Volz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If one thing is definite about Heimann's book on Czechoslovakia it is that it is not the definitive history of that country its publishers claim it to be. That is a pity, as it does contain some very valuable and thought-provoking insights that make it a worthy read in spite of its many obvious weaknesses.

What are these insights? The book attacks right on a central part of Czech national self- perception, viz., the notion that the Czech nation, while always dedicated to such high ideals as liberty and democracy has - no less regularly - been prevented from living these ideals out either by the illegitimate intervention by its various powerful neighbours or by the - just as illegitimate (as the Czechs have it) - lack of such intervention. In this, the intervention bit is primarily reserved for the Germans (first, as the Habsburgs, later, the Nazis) and, subsequently, for the Soviets resp. the Russians. The lack of such intervention, on the other hand, is blamed on the "Western powers", in particular during the Munich crisis and the Prague spring on both of which occasions the Czechs felt "betrayed" by their erstwhile Western "friends". This tragedy is alleged to have started with the so-called "battle of the white mountain" in 1620, with regard to which the Czechs, for reasons obvious only to themselves, have chosen to identify with the losing party. Since then, so public Czech consensus has it, the - high-minded - Czechs have always been the victims of history - morally superior to everybody else, to be sure, in particular in comparison with their much detested German neighbours. Simultaneously, they never were the evil perpetrators of anything!
Not so, Heimann`s book clearly shows!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Milan Pospech on July 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book claims that :

-Adolf Hitler fought in Habsburg army.
(Not true,he was in Bavarian army)

-There was no Slovak landscape on Czechoslovak postage stamps till 1925 because of Czech chauvinism.
(True.But it's also true that on postage stamps were NO LANDSCARES AT ALL,till 1926.No Slovak,No Czech,none.)

-Milan Rastislav Stefanik wasn't pictured on postage stamps till 1935 coz he was Slovak and Czechs chauvinistic.
(Again,true.But again till 1935 there was NO person on Czechoslovakian stamps with exception of President.)

-Picture of Hitler in Prague was used on one of first postage stamps in Protectorate.
(Simply not true.This stamp is from 1943.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book in very well researched and written.Author is not afraid to subject established history of Central Europe to different look,challenge old myths and bring original perspective on historical events.
Unfortunately author is unable to supress her biased personal views(there is no doubt that she doesn't have much respect for Czech culture and Czech national character).For example to describe great composer Antonin Dvorak as:"Austrian Slav Antonin Dvorak who might otherwise have been condemned forever to playing polkas,mazurkas and marches in his village band,built his career by writing a mixture of Czech nationalist pieces" is not just false but deeply biased (maybe next time author can listen to such polka or mazurka like Symphony No.9"From the New World" to change her mind).Author also blames everything on Czech nationalism omitting the fact that nationalism was an integral part of every European nation.Some nations(like Germans) dealt with this part of their history in a thorough and constructive way,some(like Russians or Poles) never did.
Author routinely describes some legitimate and spontaneous resistence(like student protests in November 1938,some events in 1968) as"provocation" leaving no doubt who she blames for the outcome.
One of the main theories of the book is to attribute creation of Czechoslovakia to Masaryk and Benes manipulation rather than to disastrous Treaty of Versailles that produced states like Yugoslavia and Iraq and set the stage for inevitable conflicts that followed.
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Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed
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