Make Your Own List. This was one of the first books on and was published soon after the revolutions, in The mistake of some journalists both then and now is to portray the revolutions as a simple victory of capitalism over communism. Economic freedom, the desire for goods that had been unavailable, was part of it, but only a Cold Weather Blues - Muddy Waters - Folk Singer of what patriotism and democracy would bring.
What Frankland looks at is what brings people out of their lethargy, out of their armchairs and on to the street. People in Eastern and Central Europe were rather well read about the history of their own nations. They walked the same route in Frankland writes beautifully and is the kind of journalist who visits museums, talks to elderly historians and really explains what motivates people.
If there had been more understanding of the patriotic element ofI think more could have been done to prevent the disaster of Yugoslavia. This is Bayangena Bayaphuma - Dr.
Victor - Shambala small volume, written in the aftermath of Then suddenly he was told by the secret police that he was going to be expelled from his parish and from his home the following Friday. Tokes says he asked his congregation to be there and peacefully witness his expulsion, in the early Christian tradition of bearing witness.
In fact, Tokes got worried when he saw them and asked them to go home. It now seems so The Men In My Little Girls Life - Various - The Stars Of Country Music Vol.5 — how could the Communist regime have survived? But people discovered then how brittle the regime in fact was. It was like a windscreen that can be shattered by one small stone, and that stone was Pastor Tokes.
I arrived ten days later for the BBC and I interviewed the people who had been there, the ethnic Hungarian members of the congregation and the Romanians who had joined them. At first the congregation, who had come holding candles, were suspicious of the Romanians, assuming they were agent provocateurs. But the Romanians had just had enough and had come to support the priest.
They ended up marching on the Party Headquarters and smashing the windows. Pastor Tokes was the spark that lit the fuse that turned into a bloody revolution with over 1, dead, including, of course, Ceausescu himself.
There is a tendency to think that these revolutions were conspiracies led by a few dissidents or the military, but I have always maintained On The Edge Of The Woods / Erdő Szélén - Various - Best Of Communism (Selection Of Revolutionary Son they were genuine uprisings. Perhaps in Romania the uprising got hijacked, but these began as genuine revolutions led by the people.
The reason I like this so much is that it lays bare the thinking of two great Russians. Berdyaev fled the Revolution in having initially welcomed it as an expression of human freedom, much like the revolutions.
I have always found Dostoevsky so Russian, so dense and overwhelming. You need to suspend your own life almost to read him.
So, Berdyaev helps me into Dostoevsky. He sees Dostoevsky as a fellow spirit dealing with the dilemmas of human freedom and the sacrifices people are willing to make for freedom. This relates to my experience of Do they shoot children? This puts the revolutions in perspective as more than a rush for jeans and fridges. The sense of responsibility towards one another and any sense of the state belonging to them.
They see the state treating them unfairly, as indeed it often does, so they withhold their blessing from it. And that undermines its legitimacy. It is as if it is too strong, and too weak at the same time. And there is an absence of a new social contract between the rulers and the ruled. This is a slim volume but it speaks volumes about the 20th century and the beginning of this one. Even this autumn, looking ahead to the Copenhagen summit and the incredible damage man has done to the world — there is this sense in both capitalism and communism of man playing God.
I like everything by Havel so perhaps this is an odd collection to choose. It first came out in samizdat, illegally, in I have met and interviewed Havel several times. His writing is often pessimistic and he was asked in the same volume if there was an inconsistency between the pessimism of his plays and his political life. Humour was one of the most important tools in the toolbox of the revolutions.
For the Czechs, they were lucky to have Havel to articulate the process, the energy of the people on the streets. Of course, he was someone who had been thinking about this for so long. This might seem an unusual choice, but I use a quote from this book as the introduction to a chapter of my own book onand the years since then. There are two ways in which this is important. Firstly, maternity care in Eastern Europe has been pretty awful and in many places still is pretty awful.
It is doctor-led and under Communism midwives were almost abolished. Sheila Kitzinger really lays it out and should be translated into all the languages of the region — Serbian, Russian, Romanian, Slovak — I think one of her books is already in Hungarian. Power needs to be given to the parents. There has been the complete absence in Eastern Europe of the understanding of birth as a psychological experience that will affect mother and child for the rest of their lives. Birth and pain are also useful as analogies for what happened in and the sense of empowerment that was suddenly felt.
The baby of democracy was born healthy and red and screaming. But people lost that sense of their own power, of their own self-confidence, and, although there has been no return to the authoritarian regimes except in Russiathe political parties now share the space that a single party once occupied. There is a jungle of democracy now, with a powerful ruling class, a political elite, politicians working closely with big business.
Violence - The Rasmus - Легенды Рока is Wildfires - Anathema - The Optimist little job security and On The Edge Of The Woods / Erdő Szélén - Various - Best Of Communism (Selection Of Revolutionary Son sense of stress Frigid - Darke Complex - Widow EP been the downside of democracy.
Job insecurity is the biggest failure of the new democracies or the biggest failure of the people, not to have organised themselves to protect their rights. There has been a real reluctance of this now year-old child to grow up. There is still a feeling of people looking up towards authority, waiting to be rescued. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date.
If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books or even just what you say about them please email us at editor fivebooks. Five Books interviews are expensive to produce. If you've enjoyed this interview, please support us by donating a small amount. Nick Thorpe lives in Budapest with his wife and five children and began reporting in February as the first western journalist to be based there.
He is the only British journalist to have covered Eastern Europe from the inside for over 20 consecutive On The Edge Of The Woods / Erdő Szélén - Various - Best Of Communism (Selection Of Revolutionary Son. He witnessed the collapse of Yugoslavia, popular uprisings in Bulgaria and Serbia, and the transformation of non-violent to violent resistance in Kosovo.
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