Communism Publications

146. One More Reason For Communism's Collapse: Television In Poland, 1951-1989

Jul 07, 2011
The Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP) believed television had a specific function in socialist society. November 1997 - From the earliest days of the medium, party leaders sought to use TV as a vehicle to transmit socialism to the masses. They found out, however, that television was a very problematic device. The inability to control television fully and completely (try though the party may), and perhaps more importantly, the party's misunderstanding of the myriad functions of TV in society, prevented it from achieving its goals. In fact, one can even suggest that the government's television policy was a contributing factor in the collapse of the Polish socialist state. more

262. Gendered Entanglements in the Time of Marxism: The Friendship of Wanda Wasilewska and Janina Broniewska in a Man's Revolution

Jul 07, 2011
March 2002- During the bleak Polish winter of 1922, the young poet Wladyslaw Broniewski was dreaming of a fantastical romance with a demonic woman; instead he fell in love with a pretty girl named Janina Kunig. Broniewski lived in the elegant prewar city of Warsaw, where he would spend his evenings with a small group of young writers – including Aleksander Wat – who gathered on the upper floor of Cafe Ziemianska. The young poets were, for the most part, Poles and cosmopolitans – "non-Jewish Jews." Broniewski, in this respect, was an exception, an ethnic Pole, of all of them the most tied to the Polish romantic tradition. It was Broniewski who came out of Marshal Jozef Pilsudski's military Legions, who fought against the Soviets in his youth and later became a proletarian poet. He wrote Janina love letters in a language reminiscent of the knights and castles of premodern chivalry. Janina loved him as well, with an affection and concern that would last her entire life. Her greatest, most undying love, though, was for Wanda Wasilewska, who in the 1920s was a promising young leader of the Polish Socialist Party to which her father had devoted his life. She lived in Cracow, where she drank endless cups of black coffee and chain-smoked and wrote poems for a newspaper called Robotnik (The Worker). She was a very tall woman with a large voice in a man's world, and she and Janina would come to mean more to each other than any of the six husbands they had between them. more

306. The End of Postcommunism

Jul 07, 2011
September 2004 - On May 1, 2004, ten countries joined the European Union (EU). On the day of the accession, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary all had Central-Left governments in power. One day later, Leszek Miller, the Polish premier was forced to resign. In June, Czech social democrat Prime Minister, Vladimir Spidla followed suit, and in August, the head of the Center-Left government of Hungary, Peter Medgyessy, was also forced to resign. "Too weak," "lacks energy," "cannot communicate effectively"—these were some of the accusations lodged against them. In spite of the fact that all three leaders where very popular at the beginning of their terms, it appeared that the initial success of their materialist-redistributive politics faded quickly. None of these countries was in bad shape economically—on the contrary, they were experiencing economic booms—yet political observers sensed that there was a crisis in the leadership. This situation had clear ties to EU accession. A national consensus supported the European accession almost everywhere: EU membership seemed logical and would clearly serve the common good. So, once the long-held goal of EU accession was achieved, why did these governments collapse? Was it just coincidence that all three were replaced by much younger prime ministers with very different outlooks from their predecessors? The answers to these questions are directly related to the fact that EU enlargement has brought the region to a new stage in its development, and one in which the former communists need to redefine their political roles. Indeed, this stage could be interpreted as the end of postcommunism. more

5. From Bolshevism to the Ideology of "Real Socialism"

Jul 07, 2011
Communist parties have inherited from Lenin and other great Bolsheviks an ideal-logical paradigm. In terms of this paradigm the Bolsheviks understand themselves and the world, which they try to disqualify ideologically and to change through revolutionary activity. more

31. Lessons of the East European Revolutions of 1989

Jul 07, 2011
There is little doubt what the greatest lesson of 1989 is: communism failed. Recent commentary to the contrary, this failure is not a parochial event limited in its significance to Eastern Europe, to the resolution of the Cold War, or to Western policy initiatives, but rather a moment of global importance in the most important family of events of the last few hundred years. These events do not have a satisfactory name, even though we all know how fundamental they are. Instead of calling them the industrial revolution, modernization, the great transformation, the single transition, or the emergence of capitalism, the author here explores their definition as the energy revolution. more

Political Transition in Hungary, 1989-1990

Jul 07, 2011
A CWIHP Document Reader compiled for the international conference "Political Transition in Hungary, 1989-1990," Budapest, Hungary, 12 June 1999 more

The Oil Prince's Legacy: Rockefeller Philanthropy in China by Mary Brown Bullock

The Oil Prince's Legacy: Rockefeller Philanthropy in China

May 01, 2011
The Oil Prince’s Legacy traces Rockefeller philanthropy in China from the nineteenth century to today. Family diaries, letters, interviews in China, and institutional archival records are used to tell a compelling story about successive Rockefeller generations and U.S.–China cultural relations. more

A Distant Front in the Cold War: The USSR in West Africa and the Congo, 1956-1964 by Sergey Mazov

A Distant Front in the Cold War: The USSR in West Africa and the Congo, 1956–1964

Oct 01, 2010
A Distant Front in the Cold War reveals West Africa as a significant site of Cold War conflict in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although the region avoided the extreme tensions of the standoff in Eastern Europe or in the Cuban missile crisis, it nevertheless offers a vivid example of political, economic, and propagandistic rivalry between the US and the USSR. more

Stalin and Togliatti: Italy and the Origins of the Cold War by Elena Agarossi and Victor Zaslavsky

Stalin and Togliatti: Italy and the Origins of the Cold War

Oct 01, 2010
Stalin and Togliatti reveals the dependence of the Italian Communist Party on Soviet decisionmaking in the early Cold War and the willingness of Stalin to sacrifice the interests of the Italian Communist Party to Soviet foreign interests. It explores the connection between the domestic Italian politics and the international affairs during the final phases of the Second World War and in the first years of the Cold War. more

Rock and Roll in the Rocket City: The West, Identity, and Ideology in Soviet Dniepropetrovsk, 1960–1985 by Sergei I. Zhuk

Rock and Roll in the Rocket City: The West, Identity, and Ideology in Soviet Dniepropetrovsk, 1960–1985

May 01, 2010
In Rock and Roll in the Rocket City, Sergei I. Zhuk assesses the impact of Westernization on the city’s youth, examining the degree to which the consumption of Western music, movies, and literature ultimately challenged the ideological control maintained by state officials. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.