In Iron Curtain
, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum provides an in-depth history and analysis of the Soviet Union's systematic takeover of Central Europe after the collapse of Hitler and his Nazi regime. The text covers the brief but remarkably important period from the USSR's WWII victories in 1944 to the failed Hungarian Revolution against Communist rule in 1956.
The author chooses to concentrate on the growth of Communism during these years in three specific Central European countries: East Germany, Poland and Hungary.
"I have chosen these three countries," she writes, "not because they were similar but because there were so very different...Above all, they had different experiences of the war. Germany had, of course, been the main aggressor and then the biggest loser. Poland had fought hard against German occupation and was...
Beyond the Book
Communism is an economic and philosophical theory that can be summed up by a phrase made popular by the "father of communism," Karl Marx: "From each, according to his ability, to each according to his need."
In its ideal form, all property is held in common; there is no private ownership. There are also no class divisions, and equal weight is given to everyone in the society regardless of gender or race. Poverty and wealth are both non-existent since all products and services are distributed equally to all. Decisions are based on what will benefit society as a whole...