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Comment: Very good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes possible, and or contain highlighting.
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Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II Hardcover – June 12, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Inspired by the example of historian Eric Hobsbawm's grand syntheses of European history, Berend (History/Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles) applies a similar method to exploring the tumultuous history of Central and Eastern Europe during the first half of this century. First published in Berend's native Hungary, the study was expanded for its English-language publication. The result is wide-ranging, both in the variety of areas examined and in geographical scope. At its core is an appraisal of the revolutionary forces that, since the turn of the century, have steered social, political, and economic trends in the region toward nationalism, fascism, communism, and right-wing dictatorships, while also creating a parallel upheaval in culture and the arts. The effects of railroad development and economic nationalism are discussed by Berend, who is a specialist in economic history, along with Kandinsky, Schnberg, and Jugendstil. Although it serves his purpose of highlighting the revolutionary character of the period, the author's inclusion of Russia seems off, since Central and Eastern Europe ordinarily are considered a distinct geopolitical unit. At the same time, Berend discusses only minimally such other countries as Slovenia and Bulgaria; his main interest is Romania and Czechoslovakia, along with Russia and Hungary. His study also contains additional flaws. Foremost among these is an overall cursory attitude; the book is too general for the experts, who will want more than just a learned rehashing of familiar territory, and too vague for the general reader, who is searching for depth and analysis. The chapters on artistic movements and on communism are particularly weak, with considerations of familiar figures and -isms reading like formulaic encyclopedia entries. Berend's strikingly dry narrative style doesn't help to enliven his rich material, although the book's 94 photographs do. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.


"Berend's book is the broadest synthesis of the modern social, economic, and cultural history of the region that we possess, probably in any language. Much of the narrative is masterful, and of an unparalleled richness, both in fact and insight. This work displays well the broad erudition of its author."--John Connelly, "Journal of Economic History"

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 437 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (June 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520206177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520206175
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the best of a number of books that I have read that discuss the entire region - the writing style is accessible and the amount of information contained is quite comprehensive. Ten of my Hungarian, Slovak and Croatian friends who have borrowed my copy have pronounced it the best book on the region they had read in any language.
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By Belen Gutierrez on January 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had the pleasure of taking a college class with the author. He has lived through the era and gave more fascinating insight into Eastern Europe. I really enjoyed meeting this wonderful historian and reading this amazing book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this and a I learned a lot from it.
Really great historial account of the time period!
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