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The West's CIA-Financed Secret Book Distribution Project Behind the Iron Curtain
A goldmine of previously untapped information on the untold story of the secret book distribution program financed by the CIA to Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The book program, at its height between 1957 and 1970, was one of the least known but most effective methods of penetrating the Iron Curtain, and reached thousands of intellectuals and professionals in the Soviet Bloc. Reisch conducted thorough research on the key personalities involved in the book program, especially the two key figures: S. S. Walker, who initiated the idea of a “mailing project,” and G. C. Minden, who developed the program into one of the most effective political and psychological tools of the Cold War. The book includes excellent chapters on the vagaries of censorship and interception of books by communist authorities based on personal letters and accounts from recipients of Western material. It will stand as a testimony in honor of the handful of imaginative, determined, and hard-working individuals who helped to free half of Europe from attempted mental bondage and planted many of the seeds that sprung to life when communism collapsed and the Soviet bloc disintegrated over twenty years ago.
This book describes and analyzes the critical period of 1711-1848 within Hungary from novel points of view, including close analyses of the proceedings of Hungarian diets. Contrary to conventional interpretations, the study, stressing the strong continuity of traditionalism in Hungarian thought, society, and politics, argues that Hungarian liberalism did not begin to flower in any substantial way until the 1830s and 1840s.
Social Opposition to an Illiberal Democracy
This book presents compelling essays by leading Hungarian and foreign authors on the variety of social movements and parties that seek influence and power in a Hungary mired in deep and manifold crisis. The main question the volume tries to answer is: what can we expect after the fall of the semi-authoritarian Orbán regime in Hungary. Who will be the new players? What are their backgrounds? What are their political and social ideals, intentions and methods? The studies in the first section of the volume provide the reader with the reasons of the emergence of these new movements: a deep analysis of the historical, political and cultural background of the current situation. The second part contains essays and case studies which challenge the movements and parties involved to look beyond their current ineffectiveness, and to find ways of meeting the challenges that would allow them to exercise responsible and effective leadership in their time and place. This collection would be the first of the kind both in the field of movement theory/history and democracy studies because it reflects on very recent developments not researched in the international scholarly literature. One would not be able to understand contemporary Hungarian society without reading it before the 2014 elections.
Between the United States and the Soviet Union
Based on new archival evidence, examines Soviet Empire building in Hungary and the American response to it. Hungary was not important enough to resist the Soviets, its democratic opposition failed to win American sympathy, the US simply had no leverage over the Soviets, who sacrificed cooperation with the West for a closed sphere in Eastern Europe. The imposition of a Stalinist regime assured Hungary's unconditional loyalty to Soviet imperial needs. Unlike the GDR, Eastern Europe was never considered a bargaining chip for bettering relations with the West. The book analyzes why, given all its idealism and power, the US failed even in its minimal aims concerning the states of Eastern Europe. Eventually both powers pursued power politics: the Soviets in a naked form, the US subtly, but both with little regard for the fate of Hungarians.
The Case of Twentieth-Century Southeastern Europe
Twentieth-century Southeastern Europe endured three, separate decades of international and civil war, and was marred in forced migration and wrenching systematic changes. This book is the result of a year-long project by the Open Society Institute to examine and reappraise this tumultuous century. A cohort of young scholars with backgrounds in history, anthropology, political science, and comparative literature were brought together for this undertaking. The studies invite attention to fascism, socialism, and liberalism as well as nationalism and Communism. While most chapters deal with war and confrontation, they focus rather on the remembrance of such conflicts in shaping today's ideology and national identity.
The Role of Aesthetic Imagination in Human Society
Literature is defined in a challenging way as the "science" of imperfection and defeat, or else as a type of discourse that deals with defeat, loss, uncertainty in social life, by contrast with virtually all disciplines (hard sciences or social sciences) that affirm certainties and wish to convince us of truths. If in real history most constructive attempts end up in failure, it follows that we ought to have also a field of research that examines this diversity of failures and disappointments, as well as the alternative options to historical evolution and progress. Thus literature serves an indispensable role: that of gleaning the abundance of past existence, the gratuitous and the rejected being placed here on an equal level with the useful and the successful. This provocative and unusual approach is illustrated in chapters that deal with the dialectics between literary writing and such fields as historical writing, or religious discourses, and is also illustrated by the socio-historical development of East-Central Europe.
Renowned academics compare major features of imperial rule in the 19th century, reflecting a significant shift away from nationalism and toward empires in the studies of state building. The book responds to the current interest in multi-unit formations, such as the European Union and the expanded outreach of the United States.
The History of Russian-Jewish Prose, 1860–1940
The first concise history of Russian-Jewish literary prose, this book discusses Russian-Jewish literarature in four periods, analyzing the turning points (1881–82, 1897, 1917) and proposing that the selected epoch (1860–1940) represents a special strand that was unfairly left out of both Russian and Jewish national literatures. Based on theoretical sources on the subject, the book establishes the criteria of dual cultural affiliation, and in a survey of Russian-Jewish literature presents the pitfalls of assimilation and discusses different forms of anti-Semitism. After showing the oeuvre of 18 representative authors as a whole, the book analyzes a number of characteristic novels and short stories in terms of contemporary literary studies. Many texts discussed have not been reprinted since their first publication. The material offers indispensable information not only for comparative and literary studies but for multicultural, historical, ethnographic, Judaist, religious and linguistic investigations as well.
Serology in Interwar and National Socialist Germany
Explores the course of development of German seroanthropology from its origins in World War I until the end of the Third Reich. Gives an all encompassing interpretation of how the discovery of blood groups in around 1900 galvanised not only old mythologies of blood and origin but also new developments in anthropology and eugenics in the 1920s and 1930s. Boaz portrays how the personal motivations of blood scientists influenced their professional research, ultimately demonstrating how conceptually indeterminate and politically volatile the science of race was under the Nazi regime.
The National Committee for a Free Europe – which at one point changed its name to Free Europe Committee – was a US government sponsored organization between 1949 and 1971. Its mission was to wage “organized political warfare” against Soviet Expansionism, with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty as the two most well known divisions. The NCFE and its anti-communist campaign remains one of the last aspects of U.S. Cold War policy that has not been thoroughly researched, and Cold War scholarship will not be complete until this history is made available. The essays in this book discuss the Bulgarian, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian and Baltic States national committees, which were formed to lead the propaganda battle against the growth of world-wide communism, and which represented the U.S.-based exile leadership of those satellite nations. The primary sources of this research were the archival records of the two radio divisions, acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University in 2000.