Paulina Bren

Envisioning a “Socialist Way of Life”: Ideology and Contradiction in Czechoslovakia, 1969-1989

The history of communism in Czechoslovakia, and particularly the story of the 1970s and 1980s, has often been narrated as a succession of oppositions, dichotomies or – to borrow from the discourse of the period – of dialectics. At the root of this history is the long-held conviction that the postwar communist world of Eastern Europe was made up of two polar opposites: the official and the unofficial. Scholarly studies have frequently focused on “official” culture versus “unofficial” culture, on the “first” (state-planned) economy versus the “second” (black-market) economy, on the Party elite versus the dissident elite….
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