This book is the result of three workshops organized by the Central European University in the years 1992–3. The participants in these workshops, after extensive discussion, arrived at a consensus on the style of the studies to be written, and on the structure of the book. We agreed that we wanted to present a scholarly book which would also have a wider appeal to an educated public. We aimed to provide the interested reader with a balanced account of the history of Czech-Slovak relations, as well as with an analysis of the social, economic and cultural forces which in the seventy-year-long history of Czechoslovakia worked either for its integration or for its disintegration. Careful attention was paid to providing an objective analysis of the political contexts of the split as well as a description of the concrete steps leading to the end of Czechoslovakia.
Many people have helped us at various stages of writing and rewriting our texts. We are grateful to the Centre for the Study of Nationalism at the CEU in Prague, which not only gave financial assistance, but through its seminars provided the intellectual stimuli for the preparation of this book.
We should particularly like to thank Gordon Wightman of the University of Liverpool for his immensely valuable comments on the draft texts. We would also like to express our thanks to Pauline Wickham of the CEU Press for her patient encouragement and constant support for our project, and to Liz Lowther of the CEU Press for her tactful assistance in the preparation of the volume, in helping to discover mistakes and in helping to answer many queries. The first English version of many of the papers was considerably improved by April Retter of the CEU Prague Language Centre. Special thanks go to Dave Matley, without whose editing the papers would have definitely remained less English than they are now. The editor and all the authors are grateful to Hana Borčevská of the CEU, Prague, for the miraculously patient and cheerful way in which she organized the workshops and the contact between the authors, and typed various versions of the scripts.