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Iron Curtain : The Crushing Of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 (2012)

by Anne Applebaum(Favorite Author)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 5
0385515693 (ISBN13: 9780385515696)
review 1: Appelbaum dissects the way that civil society in Eastern Europe was eradicated in the years following WWII, and replaced by a monolithic, state-run apparatus that controlled all aspects of peoples' lives. In her epilogue, she uses the example of the reemergence of the Polish Women's League in Lodz to show how freedom and democracy require groups such as these - non-profit advocacy groups that are dedicated to accomplishing what the state cannot. Appelbaum aptly points out that the Russian government still persecutes many of these groups within their own country. What was most shocking to me was the way that the Red Army and the Soviet government treated potential allies in the Polish Home Army, and other anti-Nazi leftists. Some of the concentration camps used in the H... moreolocaust were reused to imprison political dissidents. Some people who were liberated from concentration camps were then sent to the Gulag for not being "politically correct". The communist project in Eastern Europe might have been more successful if they had not sown such bitter seeds at the beginning.
review 2: This is an informative and meticulously researched account of the spread of Communism to Eastern Europe, primarily in the years after WWII. It took Applebaum 6 years of extensive research to write this book and the hard work definitely shows. She covers the spread of Communism through a wide range of topics,such as economics, politics, culture, youth movements,etc. I have learned numerous things I haven't known about Communism in Eastern Europe. So in that respect, I think she did a great job. So why the average rating? Simply put, although the information was illuminating, the delivery of it was far from being satisfactory, at least in my opinion. I was only rarely fully absorbed, and to some extent it was somewhat of a chore for me to finish this work. less
Reviews (see all)
A solid, well researched and informative book. A little bit dense and slow paced at times.
Incredibly informative and insightful. A moving document of a tragic historical period.
Penetrating account of a murky history.
This is an advance copy
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