At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe, and Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism. In the long-awaited follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag, acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway.
In Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-56, Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated.
Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of Iron Curtain. Among other questions, she will discuss how studying the repressive tactics employed by the Soviets in the immediate post-War period can help to illuminate the challenges faced by civil society in today’s authoritarian regimes.
The International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy cordially invites you to celebrate the publication of Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-56, featuring Anne Applebaum, Columnist, Washington Post and Slate, Director of Political Studies, Legatum Institute. Moderated by Christopher Walker, International Forum for Democratic Studies.
Thursday, November 29, 2012. 4:00–5:30 p.m. NED, 1025 F. Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004 Telephone: 202-378-9675 RSVP here (acceptances only) with name and affiliation by Tuesday, November 27.
Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute. She is also a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction as well as other awards. Since 1989, her journalism has frequently focused on the politics of transition in Russia, central Europe, and other former communist states, but she has also written extensively about British, American, and European politics and international relations. She is a former member of the Washington Post editorial board, a former deputy editor of the Spectator magazine, a former political editor of the Evening Standard, and a former Warsaw correspondent of the Economist. Her work also appears regularly in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, the Daily Telegraph, and many other UK and US publications. She is married to Radek Sikorski, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland.