Iron Curtain

Iron Curtain

The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

Book - 2012
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Random House, Inc.

At the end of WWII, the Soviet Union, to its surprise and delight, found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Central Europe. It set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system, Communism. Iron Curtain describes how the communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created, and what daily life was like once they were complete. Applebaum draws on newly opened European archives and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devestating detail millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief, rendered worthless their every qualification, and took everything away they had accumulated. Today the Soviet Block is a lost civilization, once whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality and strange aethestics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of this book.

Publisher: Toronto : Signal, c2012
Description: xxxvi, 566 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780771007637
Branch Call Number: 947.0009 App


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Feb 08, 2020

"Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."-Mussolini
A sweeping, compelling, ultimately devastating account of the rise of the Eastern Bloc after World War II. Applebaum, who has also written a book about the gulag, deals with the history, politics, and ideology but also with the massive human cost of the Soviet experiment, exemplified by Stalin and his policies. Other books on the subject: Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago," Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands," and Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism."

Feb 09, 2014

Just one of the many human tragedies of mankind's history.
Very meaningful for someone who lived through those times, in those places. If you have friends who did, you will probably understand them better if you read this book. If none of the above, it would still be useful to learn something about those times, and this book is VERY READABLE.

Oct 03, 2013

Monumental and easily readable.

Mar 23, 2013

An enlightening account of how the Soviets transformed Eastern Europe in the decade after World War II. The focus is almost entirely on Poland, East Germany, and Hungary. It made me want to learn more about the region and its history; it also serves as a good case history of communist states.

Nov 13, 2012

This is a magnificent narrative history of the founding of the "Eastern Block". I might not agree with all of her analysis, but her facts and most of her insights are right on. I am a specialist in the languages of this area rather than its modern history, but I highly recommend anything Dr. Applebaum has written.

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