Cover of Bradley F. Abrams: The Struggle for the Soul of a Nation

Bradley F. Abrams The Struggle for the Soul of a Nation

Czech Culture and the Rise of Communism

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Book information

Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc









Communism and intellectuals; Czechoslovakia.


This original study revisits the critical historical and cultural debates in Czech society immediately following World War II. Bradley F. Abrams discovers that communist public figures were largely successful in controlling the discourse 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 East-West continuum. This success was later mirrored in the struggles over socialism, the burning political issue of the time. The communists engaged their political foes in the democratic socialist and Roman Catholic camps, and, surprisingly, found significant support from a major Protestant church. The author's careful reading of major publications of the day vividly recreates a postwar mood sympathetic to radical social change, thus casting doubt on the standard view of the communists' rise to power. A rich contribution to our understanding of Czech history, this book also raises provocative questions about the relationship between war and radical social change, the communist takeover of the region, and the role of intellectuals in public life.

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