Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
|New from||Used from|
Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: The gulags. The show trials. The boot stamping on a human face. These trappings of postwar totalitarianism have stayed in our collective memory--brutal and terrifying, yes, but after more than 50 years, also so detached from their context that they’ve almost become political bogeymen. Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain is a powerful attempt to show that totalitarianism was more than just its most public excesses. A complement to such big-picture histories as Tony Judt’s Postwar, this book is concerned with the details of totalitarian rule: the diaspora of party enforcers from the USSR to the rest of the Soviet Bloc; the sudden takeover of radio stations, universities, and youth groups by partisans; the conflicted response of Catholic leaders to Stalin’s methods. Thanks to Applebaum’s extensive interviews and archival research, Iron Curtain ensures that the everyday experiences of those in the Soviet Bloc will endure, even if they soon pass beyond living memory. --Darryl Campbell
Applebaum’s Gulag received a 2004 Pulitzer Prize, an accolade that accords prominence on her new, groundbreaking investigation of the history of communism. Examining Stalin’s imposition of totalitarian regimes on Poland, Hungary, and the Soviet zone of Germany, Applebaum depicts Communist parties that were remorselessly successful in destroying opposition but that failed to win widespread popular support. An interesting motif in Applebaum’s history is the awareness by Communist leaders of civil society’s rejection of Stalinist socialism, demonstrated by the communists’ losses in somewhat unfettered postwar elections. After redressing that problem with rigged polls and mini gulags, the regimes strove to improve communist ideology’s attractiveness through propaganda, mass demonstrations, socialist realism in art, and model communist cities. Some people became convinced supporters, but most did not and survived through personal compromises with communism. The latter’s individual stories, drawn from interviews and research into those suppressed by state security, infuse Applebaum’s account with perplexing human interest. What made for a collaborator, a true believer, a dissident? A masterful chronicle and analysis, Applebaum’s work is a history-shelf necessity. --Gilbert TaylorSee all Editorial Reviews
Very well written book. It is most unfortunate that nothing in this book is taught in American Schools! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bill Brynda
With the large number of reviews here I cannot add much. Definitely 4 or 5 stars. Overall, I found it to be an utterly fascinating survey on exactly how the Iron Curtain developed... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Peter Corrigan
This is a very disappointing book about a very important topic. It purports to given an account of how the Soviet Union dominated Easter Europe. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr. Max Gutbrod
This book is an intelligent and very readable history of Central Europe after the second world war. Anne Applebaum carries together many aspects out of literature and witnesses of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wolfgang Muench
A very well written scholastic work. I read this immediately before reading Child 44, and believe it added significantly to my appreciation of that novel. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SWS
Totally crucial history that documents how the totalitarian governments established by the Soviet Union dismantled the civil societies of post-war Eastern Europe. Read morePublished 4 months ago by tarterjo
Nice written book with lot of new information about period witch don't have many books about it.Published 5 months ago by Antti Kalliokoski
I heard Anne Applebaum on C-SPAN. She argued for a continuation of the tough US policy on Russia that began in the Clinton administration. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kevin Cahill