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Perestroika and the Party: National and Transnational Perspectives on European Communist Parties in the Era of Soviet Reform

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Perestroika and the Party

National and Transnational Perspectives on European Communist Parties in the Era of Soviet Reform

Edited by Francesco Di Palma
Afterword by Silvio Pons

348 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-020-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-021-8 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Written by well-known historians and political scientists, the book addresses an underexplored topic in detail and therefore will be of interest to specialists of communism, party politics, and the political Left in Europe.” • Choice

Perestroika and the Party gives a comprehensive look at how different national parties reacted to Mikhail Gorbachev’s program of reform. Its case studies are fascinatingly detailed and make useful additions to the larger historical literature.” • Edward Cohn, Grinnell College


Countless studies have assessed the dramatic reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, but their analysis of the impact on European communism has focused overwhelmingly on the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc nations. This ambitious collection takes a much broader view, reconstructing and evaluating the historical trajectories of glasnost and perestroika on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Moving beyond domestic politics and foreign relations narrowly defined, the research gathered here constitutes a transnational survey of these reforms’ collective impact, showing how they were variably received and implemented, and how they shaped the prospects for “proletarian internationalism” in diverse political contexts.

Francesco Di Palma (1980) holds a doctorate in Contemporary History from the Freie Universität Berlin, where he is currently a Senior Fellow at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut. A former Teaching Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he has published widely on European socialism and communism, fascism and antifascism, and cultural and Jewish history.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Europe


Introduction: Perestroika or about the Demise of the Communist World?
Francesco Di Palma


Chapter 1. The Impact of Perestroika and Glasnost on the CPSU's Stance toward the “Fraternal Parties” in the Eastern Bloc
Peter Ruggenthaler

Chapter 2. Soviet Society, Perestroika, and the End of the USSR
Mark Kramer

Chapter 3. Perestroika Made in Hungary? The HSWP’s Approach to the Soviet Reform of the Late-1980s
Tamás Péter Baranyi

Chapter 4. Yugoslavia and Perestroika 1985-1991: Between Hope and Disappointment
Petar Dragišić

Chapter 5. The Polish United Workers Party and Perestroika
Wanda Jarząbek

Chapter 6. SED and Perestroika: Perceptions and Reactions
Hermann Wentker

Chapter 7. Between External Constraint and Internal Crackdown: Romania’s Non-Reaction to Soviet Perestroika
Stefano Bottoni


Chapter 8. Parallel Destinies: The Italian Communist Party and Perestroika
Aldo Agosti

Chapter 9. “I felt as if I was faced with a French Honecker”: The French Communist Party Confronted with a World that was Falling Apart (1985-1991)
Dominique Andolfatto

Chapter 10. A Dialogue of the Deaf: The CPGB and the SED during the Gorbachev Era (1985-1990)
Stefan Berger and Norman LaPorte

Chapter 11. Premature Perestroika: The Dutch Communist Party and Gorbachev
Gerrit Voerman

Chapter 12. The Perestroika and the Greek Left
Andreas Stergiou

Chapter 13. The Austrian Communists and Perestroika
Maximilian Graf

Chapter 14. The Spanish Communist Party and Perestroika
Walther L. Bernecker

Afterword: Gorbachev and the End of International Communism
Silvio Pons


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