After 1945, state patriotism of communist regimes in Eastern Europe was characterized by the widespread use of national symbols. In communist Hungary the party (MKP) widely celebrated national holidays, national heroes, erected national statues, and employed national street names. Martin Mevius' pioneering study examines the origins of this socialist patriotism, how it had become the self image of party and state by 1953, and why the MKP never rid itself of the label 'agents of
Moscow'. - ;After 1945, state patriotism of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe was characterized by the widespread use of national symbols. In communist Hungary the party (MKP) widely celebrated national holidays, national heroes, erected national statues, and employed national street names. This 'socialist patriotism' had its origin in the 'national line' of the Comintern, established on Soviet instructions following the German invasion of the Soviet Union. At that time Stalin called the
parties of the Comintern to oppose the Germans by issuing the call for national liberation.
This policy continued after 1945 when, as an aid in the struggle for power, the MKP presented itself as both the 'heir to the traditions of the nations' and the 'only true representative of the interest of the Hungarian people'. Paradoxically however, the Soviet origins of the national line were also one of the main obstacles to its success as the MKP could not put forward national demands if these conflicted with Soviet interests.
Martin Mevius' pioneering study reveals that what had started as a tactical measure in 1941 had become the self-image of party and state in 1953 and that the ultimate loyalty to the Soviet Union worked to the detriment of the national party - the MKP never rid itself of the label 'agents of Moscow'. - ;There is thorough documentary evidence and the skillful analytical assessment is overwhelming. - Barnabas Racz, Europe Asia studies;...succeeds in explaining the radical nationalism of Hungarian propaganda in international perspective, as a result of the Stalinization of both the USSR and the Hungarian communists. In this broad perspective lies the strength of his work. - Jan C. Behrends, Neue Politische Literatur;Martin Mevius successfully demonstrates how the Hungarian Communists sought, and failed, to appropriate national symbols and Magyar heroes in his excellent Agents of Moscow - Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature;Agents of Moscow is a worthy contribution to the growing scholarship on nationalism under Communism. An extremely well-researched monograph... - Johanna Granville, SEER;It is difficult to overstate the contribution made by Martin Mevius to the understanding of the frequently complex and evidently contradictory relationship between Soviet objectives and those of the communist party.... This is an original, bold and ultimately fascinating book. - Anita Prazmowska, Cold War History, Vol 6/1;... written in a flowing, very comprehensible style... Mevius introduces truly interesting sources... The book's strength is that it places MKP policy in an international perspective, and discredits the widely held view... that the Hungarian communists were merely mindless instruments of Moscow. - Gyula Heged, M--uacute--;ltunk;..a gripping and highly readable book.. - Harm Ramkema, Ablak;Mevius' work stands out because of its clear language, the systematic and easy to follow structure of the argument, and its proximity to the sources from various party archives. - --Aacute--;rp--aacute--;d von Klim--oacute--;, H-SoZ-kult;Agents of Moscow is a worthy contribution to the growing number of studies on nationalism under communism... An extremely well-researched monograph, it will surely enhance both graduate and undergraduate courses on Soviet and East European history and politics. - Johanna Granville, H-Net;Mevius has written an excellent account which highlights Stalin's pragmatic order to East-European communists to present themselves as patriots and the contorted, unsuccessful efforts which were the result. It is a pioneering book. - Robert Service, St Antony's College, Oxford;An important contribution to the understanding of the late Stalin period in the history of Communism. - Eric Hobsbawm;Mevius's discussion of communist nationalism deepens our understanding of Soviet aims and communist tactics after 1945. - Laszlo Borhi, Slavic Review, Vol. 65, No. 4;...a very detailed, and intriguing, exploration of how a nationalist policy is constructed, contested and implemented by a political movement...this would be an excellent work for either undergraduate or postgraduate teaching. Rich in detail and stimulating analysis, this book is highly recommended. - James Mark, English Historical Review;Martin Mevius, drawing on evidence from Hungary, convincingly shows us why a Communist politics of nationality was central to the creation and consolidation of socialist regimes This is a path-breaking study in a number of important respects. - Mark Pittaway, European History Quarterly;This is an important study based upon extensive research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. - Choice