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The Velvet Revolution and Beyond

Czechoslovakia by Robin Shepherd
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A decade ago, playwright dissident Václav Havel led an almost bloodless revolution against Czechoslovakia's hardline communist regime. In the years that followed, the country split apart into two independent Czech and Slovak states, each taking radically different paths to reform. The Czech Republic became famous for Premier Václav Klaus's sweeping free-market reform plans, while Slovakia fell under the shadow of Vladimír Meciar's increasingly authoritarian rule. While few had any illusions about Meciar's Slovakia, the Czech Republic's status as the darling of the eastern European transition came crashing to the ground in the late 1990s as Klaus's reforms were exposed as a sham. Havel and Klaus were also brought into sharp conflict as two diametrically opposed visions of the world clashed in public. Ironically, at around the same time, Slovakia's fortunes turned around. This book examines the core issues at work in the last decade, focusing on the political, economic and philosophical underpinnings of the reform process.
Palgrave Macmillan; June 2000
216 pages; ISBN 9780230288638
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Title: Czechoslovakia
Author: Robin Shepherd
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