There Is No Freedom Without Bread!: 1989 and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism

There Is No Freedom Without Bread and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism The conventional story of the end of the cold war focuses on the geopolitical power struggle between the United States and the USSR Ronald Reagan waged an aggressive campaign against communism outspe

  • Title: There Is No Freedom Without Bread!: 1989 and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism
  • Author: Constantine Pleshakov
  • ISBN: 9780374289027
  • Page: 187
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The conventional story of the end of the cold war focuses on the geopolitical power struggle between the United States and the USSR Ronald Reagan waged an aggressive campaign against communism, outspent the USSR, and forced Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down this wall In There Is No Freedom Without Bread , a daring revisionist account of that seminal year, the Russian borThe conventional story of the end of the cold war focuses on the geopolitical power struggle between the United States and the USSR Ronald Reagan waged an aggressive campaign against communism, outspent the USSR, and forced Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down this wall In There Is No Freedom Without Bread , a daring revisionist account of that seminal year, the Russian born historian Constantine Pleshakov proposes a very different interpretation The revolutions that took place during this momentous year were infinitely complex than the archetypal image of the good masses overthrowing the bad puppet regimes of the Soviet empire Politicking, tensions between Moscow and local communist governments, compromise between the revolutionary leaders and the communist old timers, and the will and anger of the people all had a profound influence in shaping the revolutions as multifaceted movements that brought about one of the greatest transformations in history.In a dramatic narrative culminating in a close examination of the whirlwind year, Pleshakov challenges the received wisdom and argues that 1989 was as much about national civil wars and internal struggles for power as it was about the Eastern Europeans throwing off the yoke of Moscow.

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    1 thought on “There Is No Freedom Without Bread!: 1989 and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism”

    1. I found this a surprising look at the events leading up to and including the 1989 overthrow of communism. Pleshakov disagrees with the usual interpretation of events--that the communist countries were entirely under the thumb of the Soviet Union and overturned its power in 1989. "There is nothing in the story," he writes, "to support the conventional image of the good masses throwing off Moscow. Rebellion was a domestic matter. Eastern Europeans were, naturally, very happy to see the Soviets go, [...]

    2. Finally, Eastern European scholars are using Eastern European archival material to recast 1989 as a complex and non-monolithic struggle between generations of communist leaders, regional struggles amongst Poland, Hungary and their poorer neighbors, and internal cultural and religious disputes involving the pope and Bulgarian Muslim Turks.

    3. Interesting to read that Communism in Eastern Europe was not instituted by the Red Army or the Soviets, but as a popular response to the failures of the immediately-postwar governments? Aside from some political quibbles like that, it read very well, and flowed nicely through the events of the 1980s, when the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact were fading faster than anyone knew.

    4. A great revisionist account of the origins and dissolution of the communist governments in Eastern Europe.

    5. Very readable account of the end of communism in Eastern Europe. A revisionist explanation of why what happened from a leading proffesor/history writer of Russian history.

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