Many people are owed thanks for encouraging and helping me write this book. David Bolchover read through the first three chapters. Jonathan Stein made several helpful suggestions to Chapter 4. Josef Poeschl was methodical in his perusal of Chapter 5 on the economy, the biggest in the book. Jana Dorotková added several points to Chapter 8 on the potentially hazy subject of post-communist Slovak politics. In a more general sense, Paul Lewis was a source of both encouragement and lively debate. The book has benefited from suggestions by all of the above, but any errors, oversights or weaknesses are the sole responsibility of the author. There are many others who should, but for various reasons cannot, be mentioned. I am grateful to them.