In writing this book as a theoretical reflection upon the revolutionary developments coming after the fall of communism, I have drawn mostly upon what I saw and heard in the capitals of Eastern and Central Europe in 1990 and 1991. Interviews and participant observation provided my primary empirical sources. Yet, I did not go to Europe with a blank slate. I have been thinking, researching, and writing about the region for the past two decades. My books, The Persistence of Freedom: The Sociological Implications of Polish Student Theater ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1980), On Cultural Freedom: An Exploration of Public Life in Poland and America ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), and Beyond Glasnost. The Post-Totalitarian Mind ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), elaborate my developing position on the politics and culture of the region before the revolutionary changes of 1989 and also provide more systematic overviews of the scholarly literature on Soviet bloc affairs.