Slavic Review

"This book offers a vision of 1968 as a time when exciting ideologies pulsated throughout Europe and then suggests an eastwest difference: that the ideologies going through the capitalist west were dangerous ones, guided by irrational utopianism, while those in the state socialist east were emancipatory ones, marked by a rejection of utopianism and an embrace of a liberal universalism that would finally make themselves clear during the next turning point of 1989. As the book’s subtitle indicates, the book offers essentially a conservative reading of 1968... the commentators on the west are highly critical. The essays devoted to 1968 in eastern Europe have a quite different hue. They are all sympathetic refl ections, either by participants or contemporary observers. The longest chapter by far is Mark Kramer’s superb dissection of the genealogy of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, based on a close examination of Kremlin archives and written with the care and attention to detail that we have come to expect of Kramer. We learn that invasion was not a foregone conclusion and that, once it began, it ran into many unexpected problems, beginning with the inability of the hardliners to capture formal control of the party"
Reviewed book: 
Vladimir Tismaneanu
$111.00 / €95.00 / £90.00