From Estonia to Macedonia, this book is a history of 15 countries as they negotiate their transition from communism. For some, the story ends happily, with triumphant entry into the European Union in 2004.Others are caught in limbo, destroyed by nationalist politics, war and genocide, or crippled by corrupt political practices.
The Burdens of Freedom considers the effects of revolutionary change, the resurgence of nationalism and the painful examination of the past. It looks at the process of building stable democratic states, and their integration with international structures. Most of the countries have established admission to the EU as a national objective; but many of them have also been active participants in the American-led occupation of Iraq. Domestically, each has seen a divide emerge between winners and losers. All are moving forward simultaneously to democracy, unity and prosperity, but also to national division and economic disparity.
PADRAIC KENNEY divides his time between Wroclaw, Poland, and Boulder, Colorado, where he is professor of history at the University of Colorado. His previous books on East European history and politics include A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989 (Princeton, 2002).. The series editor is NICHOLAS GUYATT.