My deepest thanks go to Professor Ivan T. Berend, director of the Center for European and Russian Studies, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This book could not have been written without his friendship, encouragement, and comments. Many of my chapters are based on his insights, as well as the wealth of facts and figures in his works.
My thanks go also to Kati Radics, West European bibliographer at the UCLA Research Library. Forgiving my technical ignorance, she helped to find, in the mysterious labyrinth of computerized directories, many useful source publications.
I want also to express my gratitude to the directors and colleagues at the Institutes of Historical Science and of Political History in Budapest, Hungary, as well as at the Center for Historical Research in Potsdam, Germany, for their advice and the use of their research libraries.
I am sincerely thankful for the interest and care that this book has received from Heather R. Staines, history editor at Praeger, publisher of my previous work, for her kind suggestions and review and for her patience with my occasionally slow progress.