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Communism Brewing

So far, all of my international visitors have fallen hopelessly in love with Vienna, envying me for its rich culture and history. However, my father-in-law, a Texan investment manager and fierce Republican, had some trouble getting used to the Viennese way of life. During our sightseeing tours, he noticed the multitude of Gemeindebauten, Vienna’s internationally-acclaimed […]

Warsaw, Still Rising

Warsaw, Still Rising

In downtown Warsaw, imposing, sleekly designed towers dot the skyline. Glass and steel towers have sprouted near the Palace of Culture and Science. A sign plastered to a skyscraper in progress, which wouldn’t look out of place in midtown Manhattan, identifies future “cosmopolitan apartments”.  Since we were last here, Warsaw has become exhilaratingly urban, at […]

Introducing Viktor Milos

Introducing Viktor Milos

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is seen to be infecting Miloš Zeman’s politics. It may be time to call it a day for the Czech Republic as we’ve known it for the last 20 years. Not to tire readers with the recent history of Czech internal affairs, but one thing is clear: If the country headed west […]

Book Review: Media Madness in New Croatia

Book Review: Media Madness in New Croatia

“What’s up?“ “A blockhead is driving me nuts. I recommended him as a correspondent in Iraq. He’s gone there, and now he’s not reporting.” “Oo, sounds unpleasant!” Markatovic said. Sitting in the newsroom in Zagreb, Toni is beside himself: He should have known better than to hire his misfit cousin as a fledgling correspondent to […]

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

Book Review: The Tale of Jozef Tiso: Priest, Politician, Collaborator

While the tumultuous years from 1914-1945 are surely the most researched, and written-about in modern history, the story of the priest-turned-president Jozef Tiso and the fascist Slovak Republic he presided over has been inaccessible to the Anglophone world. But no longer. With the publication of James Mace Ward’s Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the […]

Book Review: Iron Curtain

Book Review: Iron Curtain

Perhaps what is most often forgotten in the more intellectual-inclined discourses of political theory and Marxism is the basic fact that civil society – that sphere that is organically nongovernmental and, if desired, apolitical – is the vibrant lifeblood that allows discourse, and culture, to arise. The Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci long held that […]

Book Review: Ana Tajder’s Titoland

Book Review: Ana Tajder’s Titoland

A Childhood In ‘Titoland’ At school, I had to wear a blue uniform. For “Brotherhood and Equality” – that was the motto of Tito’s Yugoslavia. And Tito was watching. Always and everywhere. To make sure we were brotherly enough. And equal enough. A black and white photo of Tito hung in every classroom. Right above […]

Book Review: Leon Marc’s What’s So Eastern About Eastern Europe? and Padraic Kenney’s A Carnival of Revolution

Can Eastern Europe’s Greatness Return? The 20th century wasn’t kind to Eastern Europe. The region suffered repeatedly from attempts to reduce centuries of history to a scheme of East and West. Initially, the source of this was political. After rash demarcations at the end of the First World War, and even more frivolous state-shuffling at […]

The World Through a Lens

The World Through a Lens

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Considered the greatest photographer of the 20th century, if not of all time, he was present for a number of pivotal moments, including the Liberation of Paris, the division of Berlin and Beijing’s fall to the Communists, among others. […]

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