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HI430 - Human Rights in Cold War Eastern Europe: Welcome!
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Books from the Kreitzberg Library
Communist Czechoslovakia, 1945-89 by Kevin McDermottFew Europeans in the twentieth century have been subject to the repeated buffetings by foreign powers, ideologically driven transformations and internal upheaval of the Czechs and the Slovaks. The period of Communist rule was complex, and those who gleefully overthrew the regime in 1989 were the very grandchildren of those who had voted for Communism with hope in the free elections of 1946. This concise account includes both political and social history, analysing half a century of Communism from at all strata of society. Kevin McDermott is equally intrigued by those in power and ordinary citizens, asking what motivates a young Czech worker-believer to join the Communist Party in the early 1950s, enrol in the People's Militia and remain in the party during the dark years of 'normalisation', yet end up welcoming the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Using Czech and Slovak archival sources and the most recent historiography, McDermott challenges the still dominant 'totalitarian' paradigm and argues that the forty year communist experience in Czechoslovakia cannot simply be dismissed as a Soviet-imposed aberration.
The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War by Richard H. Immerman; Petra GoeddeThe Oxford Handbook of the Cold War offers a broad reassessment of the period war based on new conceptual frameworks developed in the field of international history. Nearing the 25th anniversary of its end, the cold war now emerges as a distinct period in twentieth-century history, yet onewhich should be evaluated within the broader context of global political, economic, social, and cultural developments. The editors have brought together leading scholars in cold war history to offer a new assessment of the state of the field and identify fundamental questions for future research. The individual chapters in this volume evaluate both the extent and the limits of the cold war's reach in world history.They call into question orthodox ways of ordering the chronology of the cold war and also present new insights into the global dimension of the conflict. Even though each essay offers a unique perspective, together they show the interconnectedness between cold war and national and transnational developments, including long-standing conflicts that preceded the cold war and persisted after its end, or global transformations in areas such as humanrights or economic and cultural globalization. Because of its broad mandate, the volume is structured not along conventional chronological lines, but thematically, offering essays on conceptual frameworks, regional perspectives, cold war instruments and cold war challenges. The result is a rich anddiverse accounting of the ways in which the cold war should be positioned within the broader context of world history.
The International Human Rights Movement by Aryeh NeierDuring the past several decades, the international human rights movement has had a crucial hand in the struggle against totalitarian regimes, cruelties in wars, and crimes against humanity. Today, it grapples with the war against terror and subsequent abuses of government power. In The International Human Rights Movement, Aryeh Neier--a leading figure and a founder of the contemporary movement--offers a comprehensive and authoritative account of this global force, from its beginnings in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to its essential place in world affairs today. Neier combines analysis with personal experience, and gives a unique insider's perspective on the movement's goals, the disputes about its mission, and its rise to international importance. Discussing the movement's origins, Neier looks at the dissenters who fought for religious freedoms in seventeenth-century England and the abolitionists who opposed slavery before the Civil War era. He pays special attention to the period from the 1970s onward, and he describes the growth of the human rights movement after the Helsinki Accords, the roles played by American presidential administrations, and the astonishing Arab revolutions of 2011. Neier argues that the contemporary human rights movement was, to a large extent, an outgrowth of the Cold War, and he demonstrates how it became the driving influence in international law, institutions, and rights. Throughout, Neier highlights key figures, controversies, and organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and he considers the challenges to come. Illuminating and insightful, The International Human Rights Movement is a remarkable account of a significant world movement, told by a key figure in its evolution.