Velvet Revolutions

Velvet Revolutions : An Oral History of Czech Society

3.9 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Velvet Revolution in November 1989 brought about the collapse of the authoritarian communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia. It also marks the beginning of the country's journey towards democracy. This book examines what the values in so-called real socialism were, as well as how citizens' values changed after the 1989 collapse. In Velvet Revolutions, Miroslav Vanek and Pavel Mucke analyze and interpret 300 interviews on citizens' experience of freedom and its absence, the value of work, family and friends, education, relations to public sphere and politics, the experience of free time, and perception of foreigners and foreign countries. The interviewees are drawn from a wide range of professions, including manual workers, service workers, farmers, members of the armed forces, managers, and marketing personnel. All of the interviewees were at working age during the last twenty years of the communist regime and during the post-revolutionary transformation. From this rich foundation, the book builds a multi-layered view of Czech history before 1989 and during the subsequent period of democratic transformation.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 22mm | 594g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199342725
  • 9780199342723
  • 1,090,784

Table of contents

Acknowledgments: The Privilege of Listening to the Voices of Memory ; Introduction ; 1. I Want to be Free!: Freedom as a Fundamental Human Value ; 2. The Family under Socialism and in the Whirlwind of Transformation ; 3. Friends and the Others: How Czechs Evaluate Foreigners and Foreign Countries ; 4. Education: A Gateway to Success in Life? ; 5. From the Requirement to Work to Looking for Work ; 6. Perception of Free Time: Work, Family, and Leisure ; 7. Us and Them: Eternal Predestination? ; Conclusion ; Our Narrators ; Bibliography
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Review quote

Miroslav Vanek and Pavel Mucke ... have done something remarkable ... Velvet Revolutions: An Oral History of Czech Society is seminal. It is the first work of its kind, and hopefully Vanek and Mucke have begun a tradition of recording Czech oral history so that other works will reach an English-speaking audience. For any researcher of Czech culture, Slovak culture, or communism, this book must find its way into his or her collection. The narratives
and insights are indispensable, and the book will become foundational literature for students of Czechoslovak communism from the Prague Spring to the Velvet Revolution. * Benjamin Sorensen, International Social Science Review *
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About Pavel Mücke

MV: director, Department of Oral History and Contemporary History, Charles University, Prague, and president, International Oral History Assocation
PM: lecturer, Department of Oral History and Contemporary History, Charles University, Prague
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Rating details

11 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 36% (4)
4 36% (4)
3 9% (1)
2 18% (2)
1 0% (0)
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