The Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: An Introduction

By Richard F. Staar | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THIS SECOND, revised edition has been undertaken in order to update and publish as a paperback my book which first appeared in December 1967 and is now out of print. The three years since then have witnessed many changes in Eastern Europe. As revised, the book should continue to serve as an introduction to the source materials that are available for study of this complicated part of the world. Besides the changes in the text, several new charts have been added, the tables have been revised, and the bibliography has been updated.

The data, in large part, have been extracted from articles and books in the original East European languages. Albanian, Hungarian, and Romanian were used mostly in translation as indicated by the footnotes. Transcripts from monitoring of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, proved most useful, as did Situation Reports and other materials from Radio Free Europe (abbreviated as RFE in the text). The U.S. Department of State Directories helped with some of the identifications, especially for purposes of establishing some of the interlocking directorates.

This book is organized into eleven chapters. The first eight treat individually the countries of Eastern Europe, now under communist rule. Each describes the governmental structure, including the constitutional framework and the system of elections; the ruling party, variously called a communist, socialist, or workers' movement; domestic policies; and foreign relations. The next three chapters incorporate an area-wide approach. They discuss military and economic integration through the Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, together with the development of intra-bloc party relations.

Although errors in fact and interpretation remain my own, I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the reading of separate revised chapters by the following: Professor Nicholas C. Pano ( Albania), Professor L. A. D. Dellin ( Bulgaria), Dr. Zdenek Krystufek ( Czechoslovakia), Mrs. Edith Wyden (East Germany), Mr. Janos Radvanyi ( Hungary), Professor Witold S. Sworakowski ( Poland), Mr. Constantine Brancovan ( Romania), Professor Alex Dragnich

-vii-

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