"Vladimir Tismaneanu has assembled a highly qualified group of authors and a diversity of perspectives from the retrospective and self-critical to the somewhat nostalgic for fadedyouth, along with some country-specific essays about experiences further East. Poland’s educated young were in general a 'special population'—not all were Jewish, but a large number were. Irena Grudziñska-Gross offers an excellent summary of this drama of “spoiled children,Marxists and Jews,” placing herself among the dramatis personae. Ceauqescu was, after all, 'a latent neo-Stalinist, a sly Antonín Novotný, not an Alexander Dubcek', and was steering his country toward the peculiar blend of domestic repression and foreign policy nonalignment that persisted in Romania until 1989. On some level, are 'Paris' and 'Prague' to be taken equally seriously? Charles Maier’s essay is the only attempt to 'make sense of it all.'As he puts it, the expectations (some added afterward) that surround what turn out to be 'great years' have a lot to do with what we think amounted to success or failure. We can look back on 1848 and see romantic nationalist revolts as failures in some senses, but not in others—1848 did not emerge triumphant in 1849, but no definitive judgment was possible until more time had passed."