In his preface to the second edition of Return to Diversity, Joseph Rothschild envisioned a book on postcommunist East Central Europe to complete a trilogy on the modern history of the region. These plans, however, have fallen victim to his failing health. Because Return to Diversity continues to stand up well to the test of time, Oxford University Press has chosen to publish a third edition. In this edition, I have occasionally updated earlier chapters of the book, and there has been some analytical reinterpretation in Chapter 7, “The Various Endgames.” A new chapter, “The Postcommunist Era,” replaces the Epilogue of the second edition. It examines the problems of political transition from Communism in the decade since 1989. In addition, I have significantly expanded the Suggested Readings to include some of the important new research on the region. This wealth of recent publications reflects the increased interest in East Central Europe since the fall of Communism.
It is a pleasure to recognize the people who have helped me prepare the third edition of Return to Diversity. Melissa Bokovoy, Maria Bucur, David Crowe, Istv00E1n De00E1k, Rick Frucht, Christine Holden, Charlie Ingrao, Mills Kelly, Padraic Kenney, Jim Niessen, Peter Mentzel, Nick Miller, Elaine Spencer, and Teresa Tickle. I would also like to thank Todd Huebner for designing the maps and Stacie Caminos and Gioia Stevens, my editors at Oxford, for their advice.
DeKalb, Illinois N. M. W.