The End and the Beginning: The Revolutions of 1989 and the Resurgence of History

The End and the Beginning: The Revolutions of 1989 and the Resurgence of History

The End and the Beginning: The Revolutions of 1989 and the Resurgence of History

The End and the Beginning: The Revolutions of 1989 and the Resurgence of History

Synopsis

An analysis that takes into account the complexities of the Soviet bloc, the events' impact upon Europe, and their re-interpretation within a larger global context.

Excerpt

The present volume is an attempt to provide a fresh interpretation of the contexts, meanings, and consequences of the revolutions of 1989. It does not aim to search for ‘new truths’ or novel explanations for the fall of Communism and for the peaceful and sudden upheavals that took place in 1989. It does, however, emphatically argue for re-thinking, re-visiting, and re-assessing the filters and means that scholars use to interpret this watershed moment in our recent history. the editors perceive the present project more as a challenge to existing readings of the complex set of issues and topics presupposed by a re-evaluation of 1989 as a symbol of the change and transition from authoritarianism to democracy. in this context, the volume begins and ends with two essays that both bring together our present understandings on the subject and lay the ground for further realignment of scholarly analysis. Vladimir Tismaneanu’s contribution opening the volume is first of all an overview of the state of the art about the causes, meanings, and consequences of 1989. Secondly, though, the author insists in signaling out the four fundamental directions adopted by the volume’s contributors: (1) the possibilities of situating 1989 in both global and European history with the benefit of the hindsight of more than twenty years since the events happened; (2) the determining elements that brought the world to 1989 with a special focus on the relationship between core and periphery within the Soviet bloc; (3) the plural ways of comprehending the contexts that set up communism’s demise and the upheavals of 1989 in various Eastern European countries; (4) the multifarious nature of the way we can map out and interpret these revolutions and communism’s aftermath (e.g., intellectual and discursive legacies, challenges of . . .

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