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The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation : Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism - Bradley F. Abrams

The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation

Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism

Hardcover Published: 1st April 2004
ISBN: 9780742530232
Number Of Pages: 372

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The material effects of World War II, in combination with Eastern Europe's disappointingly undemocratic interwar history, placed radical social change on the postwar agenda across the region and shaped the debates that took place in immediate postwar Czech society. These debates adopted both a cultural form, in struggles over the meaning of the recent past and the nation's position on the East-West continuum, and a directly political form, in battles over the meaning of socialism. The Struggle for the Soul of the Nation examines the most important and politically resonant fields of historical and cultural debate in Czech society immediately after World War II. Bradley Abrams finds that communist public figures were largely successful in controlling debate 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 EastDWest continuum. This success preceded and was mirrored in the struggles over the political issue of the times: socialism. The communists engaged their political foes in the democratic socialist and Roman Catholic camps, and, surprisingly, found significant support from a major Protestant church. Abrams's careful reading of major publications re-creates a postwar mood sympathetic to radical social change, questioning the standard view of the communists' rise to power. This book not only contributes to the specific literature on Czech history, but also raises questions about the relationship between war and radical social change, about the communist takeover of the region, and about the role of intellectuals in public life.

Industry Reviews

Abrams work will certainly set the standard on this subject for years to come.--Melissa Feinberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte "Habsburg, March 2005 "

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: The Cold War and Contemporary Understandings of the Communist Takeover of Czechoslovakiap. 1
Czech Intellectuals Enter the Postwar World
World War II and the East European Revolutionp. 9
Intellectuals in the Czech Environmentp. 39
Four Groups of Postwar Czech Intellectualsp. 53
The Interpretation and Reinterpretation of Czech History and the Reorientation of the Czech Nation
The Communist Aim: The Creation of a New Czechoslovakiap. 89
The Battle over the Recent Past I: The Experiences of Munich and World War IIp. 104
The Battle over the Recent Past II: The First Republic and Tomas G. Masarykp. 118
The Shift in Sensibilities and Generations: May 5, 1945, versus October 28, 1918p. 139
The Reorientation of National Identity: Czechs between East and Westp. 156
The Meaning of Socialism
Socialism and Communist Intellectuals: The "Czechoslovak Road to Socialism"p. 178
Socialism and Democratic Socialist Intellectuals: The "New Socialist Ethos"p. 199
Socialism and Roman Catholic Intellectuals: The "Fateful Struggle between Spirit and Matter"p. 234
Socialism and Protestant Intellectuals: The "Kingdom of God on Earth"?p. 253
Conclusion: The End of Czechoslovak Democracy and the Rise of Communism in Eastern Europep. 275
Appendixp. 289
Notesp. 296
Bibliographyp. 347
Indexp. 357
About the Authorp. 363
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742530232
ISBN-10: 074253023X
Series: Harvard Cold War Studies Book
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 372
Published: 1st April 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.71

Earn 456 Qantas Points
on this Book