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

Bradley F. Abrams Struggle for the Soul of the Nation

Czech Culture And the Rise of Communism

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Book information

Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc









Communism and intellectuals; Czechoslovakia.


This is a paperbound edition of a work first published in 2004. The consensus view of Czech history suggests that the Communist Party came to power due to the machinations of a small clique and the support of the Soviet Union. Yet, as Abrams (history, Columbia U.) notes, the fact that the Communist Parties gained 40 percent of the vote in the elections of 1946, its membership stood at almost 1.4 million by the end of 1947, and hundreds of thousands more people demonstrated in favor of the Communist Party's position on the government crisis in February of 1948 than demonstrated against it, suggest a more nuanced view is required. After placing the intellectual milieu in historical context, he considers how communists and non-communists struggled over definitions of the recent Czech past and cultural orientation. He then turns to an exposition of the debates that explicitly engaged the question of communism, examining how they conditioned a postwar Czech mentality that aided the Communist seizure of power.

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