Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system: communism. Iron Curtain describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. The book describes how political parties, the church, the media, young people’s organizations – the institutions of civil society on every level – were eviscerated, how the secret police services were organized, how ethnic cleansing was carried out –  and how some people were forced to collaborate while others managed to resist.

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IRON CURTAIN_INTRODUCTION – PDF-Document

Advance Praise for IRON CURTAIN:

“So much effort is spent trying to understand democratization these days, and so little is spent trying to understand the opposite processes. Anne Applebaum corrects that imbalance, explaining how and why societies succumb to totalitarian rule. Iron Curtain is a deeply researched and eloquent description of events which took place not long ago and in places not far away – events which contain many lessons for the present.”
– Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World

Iron Curtain is an exceptionally important book which effectively challenges many of the myths of the origins of the Cold War. It is wise, perceptive, remarkably objective and brilliantly researched.”
– Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad and The Second World War

“This dramatic book gives us, for the first time, the testimony of dozens of men and women who found themselves in the middle of one of the most traumatic periods of European history. Anne Applebaum conveys the impact of politics and ideology on individual lives with extraordinary immediacy.”
– Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

“Anne Applebaum’s highly readable book is distinguished by its ability to describe and evoke the personal, human experience of Sovietisation in vivid detail, based on extensive original research and interviews with those who remember.”
– Timothy Garton Ash, author of The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of ’89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague