Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

Iron Curtain The Crushing of Eastern Europe In the long awaited follow up to her Pulitzer Prize winning Gulag acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II an

  • Title: Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
  • Author: Anne Applebaum
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 103
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In the long awaited follow up to her Pulitzer Prize winning Gulag, acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway.At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control oIn the long awaited follow up to her Pulitzer Prize winning Gulag, acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway.At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of Iron Curtain.

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      Posted by:Anne Applebaum
      Published :2020-02-18T03:22:02+00:00

    Anne Applebaum

    Journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author who has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe Since 2006, she is a columnist and member of the editorial board of the Washington Post.She is married to Rados aw Sikorski, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs They have two children, Alexander and Tadeusz.

    956 Comment

    • Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont

      (May 31, 2020 - 03:22 AM)

      The Hand of History There are not many jokes in communism. Actually that’s not quite true. A case could be made that communism itself was a massive joke, except those living under it dared not laugh, or laugh only at their personal peril. All humour in what used to be called the Eastern Bloc was inevitably of a subversive nature. For as George Orwell wrote, a thing is funny when it upsets the established order; that every joke is a tiny revolution. The revolutionaries did not want revolution; [...]

    • Insightful, well researched book. I grew up in a Siberian "closed" town, which was build by Gulag prisoners before I was born, i spent my childhood behind three rows of barbed wires. My small town produced refined plutonium, spy satellites and engines for intercontinental ballistic missiles. In nearly 30 years I lived in the USSR before moving to the USA, I had no idea what was happening outside USSR, not only in capitalist West, but even in socialist East. We just never had a chance to see the [...]

    • Shortest ReviewRead Ashes and Diamonds instead. Short ReviewThis is a book which in its final pages, like a bad report or essay seeks to assert new ideas( and with them the books own value and importance) not in evidence in the bulk of the text during whichThe Simpsons provide the essential vocabulary of reader response withMeh and Duh! depending on which blatantly obvious point the author highlights. Longer ReviewMy overwhelming response to this book is don't bother. Life, we are told, is short [...]

    • It's really hard to believe that its been twenty-four years since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. I remember following the news on CNN at the United States Mission in Geneva, Switzerland. A communist Eastern Europe seemed to be a permanent fixture just weeks before. Applebaum does and excellent job describing the Eastern Europe after WWII. She brings some excellent points to history. Terrorized by the Nazi's then liberated by the Soviets. Why weren't people anxious to go to the West? Pe [...]

    • Anne Applebaum is a journalist and author of Gulag: A History, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. She has written for many papers and publications, and was a foreign correspondent for The Economist in the late 1980's, when she covered the societal and political changes happening in Eastern Europe. She is married to Radosław Sikorski, Poland's former minister of foreign affairs, and is now a Polish citizen.Iron Curtain is a well-researched and important book which seeks to answer the [...]

    • A well researched book but ultimately, a major disappointment. The author is connected with the neoconservative Legatum Institute as well as high ranking elements in the Polish establishment so if you are looking for a balanced account of Europe behind the Iron Curtain, you shouldn't look for it here. Problems include:- a narrow focus that concentrates only on the immediate postwar period as well as just three countries, East Germany, Hungary and Poland- a failure to acknowledge that barmy as th [...]

    • If Anne Applebaum had written 'Iron Curtain' at the height of the revisionist '70s and '80s, she'd be dismissed as an acolyte of Richard Pipes. After two decades of opened files in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European satellite states, however, we know that the traditionalist Western view of 'High Stalinism' was more or less correct. Even giving post-war socialist striving its due, the Stalinist form of Central European consolidation was almost as depraved as the commie-hunters of the '5 [...]

    • (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]Please note - all the comments regarding this book have been removed and I have not been informed by grramazon. It took an observant flister to point it out.So are we still being censored folks!ETA: according to Feedback, who answered promptly, it looks like there is a bug going around re deleted comments. That is heartening.Wouldn't this be fab:Source["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

    • Here is a brutal and uncompromising look at a challenging issue of history and memory. It investigates less of a 'why' totalitarian Communism took hold in Eastern Europe, but 'how' it was done. Applebaum's focus was on the territorial acquisitions made by the Soviets in Eastern Europe after the Second World War, but her particular focus is on East Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Eastern Europe was in terrible shape after the Second World War. Some countries lost up to 20% of their population, and [...]

    • An in depth review of the modes of repressing and molding the human psyche in Eastern European societies that have suffered under the Soviet-Stalinist hand. It touches on everything from the political, economic and social environments to the specific use of radio to either brainwash people or to help the permanent (even though small) resistance during the period of 1944-1956, as well as a beautiful dive into the architecture of oppression (which has quickly become one of my favorite subjects) an [...]

    • This is a moving descruption of the crushing of Eastern Europe by the Soviets.The book is written in a dead pan matter of fact style with a grimly dry humour. It is very easy to get very angry about communist and Soviet evil doing when you read about normal people doing normal things and being executed or sent to the Gulag for it. You need to read the authors book on the Gulag's to get the full impact of flat statements that someone went to the Gulag for several years. As you get further on into [...]

    • Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 works not simply as a history of the early Cold War but as an anodyne to the Leftist academics, which is most of them, who read the Cold War as the byproduct of American imperialism. Ms. Applebaum demonstrates that it was Russian imperial reach that crushed the Central and Eastern European states and civilizations; not American interference in the Soviet sphere (Warsaw Pact nations). The list of Soviet atrocities, both cult [...]

    • Being a Pole I am lucky to have been born several years after the end of World War II. I was spared the unspeakable horrors and atrocities committed by Germans during the war and occupation. I was also spared the horrors and atrocities that accompanied the Russian liberation of Eastern Europe and were still happening behind the Iron Curtain during the first 10 or so years after the war. My first memories that relate to politics date to 1956, which was the year demarcating the terrible period of [...]

    • The basic facts of the segregation of Europe after the end of the Second World War are well known - both the Soviet Union and the Western Powers (USA, Britain and France) divided the defeated Germany between them, and spheres of influence over other countries were split approximately along the lines agreed at the Yalta Conference, confirmed by "feet on the ground" at the cessation of hostilities.And while those of us who are of a certain age or older know what we know about the Warsaw Pact, and [...]

    • Because I grew up during the Cold War and was a avid follower of the news by the time I was age 9, I thought I knew something about the Soviets and Eastern Europe. Turns out, I knew very little.Anne Applebaum's superb book details the Soviet Union's enduring and total brutality, paranoia and intolerance toward the people of Eastern Europe, starting not at the end of World War II, but months, even years, before. The Soviets and their puppet leaders in each country sought nothing less than total c [...]

    • When Communism went out of business after 1989 and the Cold War ended, one of the common reactions was that it would now be possible to put the odd history of that period on the shelf and move on without needing to deal with the history of Stalinist regimes and their mixture of totalitarian control, mass propaganda, and confrontational foreign affairs. Well, what also happened was that the various state archives of these repressive regimes were opened to researchers, so that the history of this [...]

    • Well researched and well written book about the post-war period in Eastern Europe. It contains a detailed and interesting narrative of the progressive Stalinization of Eastern Europe, focused primarily on East Germany, Poland and Hungary.The only issue with this book (and the reason why I am not giving it 5 stars) is, in my opinion, a (possibly ideologically motivated) lack of balance in the judgment of the individuals and peoples involved in this process - sometimes they are portrayed in an alm [...]

    • Εμπεριστατωμένη και ολοκληρωμένη μελέτη για ένα κομμάτι της ιστορίας που δεν γνωρίζουμε και πολύ καλά. Στα μείον θα έβαζα τη μεροληψία της συγγραφέα - που είναι βεβαίως κατανοητή, μιας και είναι σύζυγος πρώην Υπουργού Εξωτερικών της Πολωνίας. Δεν διαστρεβλώνονται βεβαίως [...]

    • The sheer size and scope of the book give pause to the casual reader but this is mitigated by the author's elegant prose and ability for descriptive details. The reader is not spared from the horrors of war illustrated by the unremitting violence, unmitigated brutality, wholesale rape, mass murder, abject poverty, deadly starvation and theft - events that led to mass dislocation and homelessness of massive populations within Europe by the end of world War ll - and became the fertile ground for t [...]

    • Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War IIby Keith Low concludes with a chapter on how the Soviet communists took advantage of a devastated Europe to control the destinies of millions of people. Anne Applebaum picks up the story from there, showing in detail the steps that solidified Soviet power in Poland, Hungary and East Germany for two generations.The pattern was the same in each of these three countries. The Russian army, being place at the war's end, was able to take credit [...]

    • "The best work of modern history I have ever read" says A N Wilson on the cover. The cover praise is gushing as we get "masterpiece" from Oliver Kamm and "at last the story can be told" by Orlando Figes. I have to say that I have come out of this book extremely disappointed and for many reasons. The best work of modern history is as ridiculous a comment and as to Masterpiece? Evans Reich trilogy just kills this book for the sheer brilliance of the telling of the subject as opposed to a limited f [...]

    • There are few non-scholarly works who tackle the experience of Soviet occupation from an international comparative perspective. Perhaps this is the first by an anglophone author writing from a Western political perspective.I was born in East Germany and feel quite knowledgable about the creation period of the GDR, due to education, family history, etc. But reading the sections about Poland and Hungary was quite a revelation and made me realize how East Germans had it (comparatively) good and tha [...]

    • For a while, now, I've been saying, at first as a joke but with ever-increasing earnestness, that librarianship is less a skill than an ideology. So I shouldn't have been that surprised when I found myself closely identifying with the 'reluctant collaborators' that Applebaum portrays in this lucid and thorough history of the 'Stalinization' of Eastern Europe. The Soviet-inspired system she outlines, in which enthusiastic regurgitation of meaningless slogans is 'privileged' over productivity, fel [...]

    • Life under Nazi overlords during World War II was horrific for the peoples of Eastern Europe, but it didn’t improve all that much once the Red Army arrived, ostensibly as “liberators.” Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain is an account (in great and graphic detail) of how the Soviets imposed their will on Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland, East Germany, and Hungary. Applebaum is fluent in Polish and Hungarian, and so she has been able to utilize sources inaccessible to most western histori [...]

    • This is perhaps my favorite history book that I've read in the last year. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in European History, the Cold War, or the aftermath of World War Two. Applebaum covers in engaging detail the cultural, political, artistic and economic changes which the USSR and its chosen leaders for the Eastern Bloc countries enforced upon the nations of Eastern Europe. She makes a strong case that the intent and approach was totalitarian, in that the communist gover [...]

    • Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton

      (May 31, 2020 - 03:22 AM)

      Perhaps what is most fascinating about the strange episode of human history under which the communist oppression of Eastern Europe falls is that it has gone so long without a comprehensive history of how it occurred. Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 appears to step into that gap, providing in-depth research and a vividly written history of the period that saw the Soviet oppression and domination through totalitarian regimes of what would come to be known [...]

    • When the Second World War ended, the political landscape of Europe changed drastically. More so, for Eastern Europe, and from 1945 to about 1956, it was controlled by Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union. However after the war, the Red Army were not really the enemy, helping to liberate a lot of countries from the Nazis. It was the mismanagement of the Eastern European countries that became the problem. The Iron Curtain is a history book focused on the events that happened in these countries.First [...]

    • Anne Applebaum has written a meticulously-researched book that brings to life the cruel realities of daily existence for those captured in the Soviet Bloc of Central and Eastern Europe. Along the way, she provides the reader with some examples of Soviet propaganda that demonstrate a surprising depth of hatred towards America. Surprising because these outbursts occurred so quickly after the war in which we were Allies came to an end. These include poems portraying Americans as warmongers who used [...]

    • Thorough, meticulous, and creepy. Recommended for history buffs, probably not for casual readers of non-fiction. It's quite good. I put myself on the reserve list after Terry Gross interviewed the author on Fresh Air. If you're thinking of reading it, maybe listen to a podcast to get the feel for the material first?Once, when I was 16, I did a bus tour of East Berlin (that's how old I am!). I commented that one statue we drove by was really ugly. It was this hideous shiny brown marble tiled stat [...]

    • Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain is a chronicle of what happened in Eastern Europe once the Iron Curtain came down. She focuses mainly on Germany, Hungary, and Poland and examines what occurred in those countries as they came increasingly under the thumb of the Soviet Union. This a story that often isn't told, and I was riveted by the combination of personal interviews, official documents, and political history that Applebaum weaves together. Applebaum doesn't tell the story chronologically, instea [...]

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