The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism
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The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  226 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Rosenberg's previous book, Children of Cain, dealt with the change from dictatorship to democracy in South America. Here, she approaches a similar theme in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism, telling a series of riveting human stories to illuminate the paradox that rabid anti-Communism at times resembles Communism. In the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and the fo...more
Hardcover, 461 pages
Published April 25th 1995 by Random House
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When Communism came crashing down alongside the Iron Curtain at the turn of the 1990s, it left a changed Eastern Europe to sift through the debris. Former Soviet Bloc countries found themselves struggling to come to terms with the events of the last fifty years, and to establish new systems in the shadow of the old.

This is the conflict Tina Rosenberg portrays in "The Haunted Land." A journalistic veteran of the South American dictatorships, Rosenberg travels to Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the fo...more
A strong and off the fence opinionated view of 3 countries coming to terms with their communist past. For our menu I would recommend reading the Joke by Kundera for starter then a staunch and no quarter Orwell's 1984 for main dish followed by this book as a dish before dessert...
Then The Little Prince for dessert. To give you back hope after this heavy meal! This books deals with the past of 3 countries Poland, the Czech Republic and East Germany (part of Germany now; as info for the younger gen...more
Chris "Stu"
So. Here's the problem. This is a very excellent book about the effects of Communism on people, even a dozen years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It's exhaustively researched, the author's biases and personal feelings on the subjects are expressed in a way that you can fully take them into account, and the human stories that this book relates are moving and important to wrestle with in this modern time.

However, it is 400 pages of bad news. Humans are weak, bureaucracy is strong and destructi...more
کتابی درباره آنچه که کمونیسم بر سر کشورها و مردمان بلوک شرق آورد ، مردمانی مطیع همچون اسلواک ها ، روشفکران پراگی ، رومانتیک ها و شجاعان لهستانی و ... . نویسنده خود روزنامه نگاری بوده که تجربه حضور در دیکتاتوری های آمریکای لاتین را داشته است و با دید باز و تجربه خوب به سراغ دیکتاتور های کمونیست و روشنفکرانی که در بند بوده اند می رود و سعی میکند تصویری وافعی از آن چه در سه کشور چکسلواکی ، لهستانی و آلمان شرقی پیش آمده است ارائه دهد .
کتاب ترجمه بسیار خوبی دارد و نویسنده به تصویری ترین شکل ممکن کتا...more
Apr 20, 2007 Mike marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shame on me. I bought this book sometime around 1995-96. The book is about Poland, East Germany and Czechoslovakia and how they are dealing with the (then) recent fall of communism. For some reason I never dove into it. Maybe it's because I was taking a lot of political science and history classes at that time. In other leisure reading had nothing to do with history or politics. After reading word after word of Francis Fukuyama, Machiavelli, Marx, Hegel, Jefferson.....I just couldn't...more
"Communism has left behind a poisonous residue. The people ... had forty-five years to accustom themselves to governments endowed with arbitrary and absolute power... No institutions existed that could check power of the Party. It has left citizens unaccustomed to searching for their own values and morals, more comfortable with simply accepting those supplied ready-made by the state... Unchecked power is the evil in communism, what transforms it from Pegasus to Gorgon. The opposite of communism...more
George King
Some good behind the scenes view of former dictatorial states. Converting to a democracy is not an easy task and should be really appreciated by those who live in one. It should also make those who live in a democracy be vigilant about the democracy they live in ands they ways it can be corrupted..
بهمن بهمن
یکی از بهترین کتاب هایی که در مورد اروپای شرقی و آلمان شرقی سابق نوشته شده.کتابی که بی هیچ جانب داری و پیش داوری نشان می دهد که چطور کمونیسم بهترین ، فداکار ترین و هوشمند ترین انسانها را به خود جذب کرده و در مدت کوتاهی آنها را به یک مشت هیولا تبدیل می کند
Joseph Stieb
Although it plods from time to time, this is a challenging and fascinating book about recovering from a totalitarian communist system and transitioning to democracy. 407 pages. First book of 2014.
Stefanie Lubkowski
I really enjoyed the personal stories embedded in this book, from generals to ordinary people. Rosenberg also did a great job of using individual stories to elucidate larger issues. The insights into how Communism/totalitarianism affected society and culture as well as politics, and how it shaped an individual's sense of self, emotional life, etc.
This book compares the experiences of four Central European countries coming to terms with their Communist pasts. Interesting, well-written, and well-researched, but I wish she had provided more analysis of the differences and similarities among the countries in question, rather than just including each as an entirely separate narrative.
The human stories told in this book are ones I had not heard before and were very inspiring. It gave me a good feel for the struggles after the wall fell and the difficulties in putting their lives back together and dealing with the past. I never tire of reading about the Stasi and all the files and secret spies and reporting etc.
I had thought this book was about the countries after the fall of communism and the state of their economy and govt and so on. But it was mostly about what happened to their secret police. I only read the sections on Czeckoslovakia and east Germany. Pages and pages on two people only.

The stories of the struggles of those who cooperated with the secret police (in all its various forms) under Communism are really powerful. Gives some interesting insight into what folks in former communist countries went through and how the experience may still linger in their relationships.
Good book. Her descriptions of the people trying to come to grips with their past were interesting and informative. Not an area I knew a lot about so the material was fresh and insightful. Recommended for those who want to learn more about the effects of communism.
The Haunted Land is an insightful look into the struggles former Eastern Bloc countries faced in coming to terms with their totalitarian pasts. It reminded me a lot of Hannah Arendt's book on Adolf Eichmann and the banality of evil.
Reinforcing the platitude that truth is stranger than fiction. Laced with weird, weird stories of things that some European governments did for literally no better reason than to mess with people.
Arman Mohammadi yazdi
مطمئناً یکی از تامل‌برانگیزترین کتاب‌هایی خواهد بود که در مورد کشورهای بلوک شرق و حتا تاریخ سیاسی معاصر خواهید خواند.
در انتخابش برای خواندن، تعلل نکنید.
The various ways in which the well-intentioned can make things go wrong. How national culture does indeed influence the choices people make.
Marcus Cone
In the style of Balken Ghosts but the focus is on Czech Republic, Poland, and East Germany.
Rod Zemke
A fantastic look at 3 Eastern European countries after the fall.
an incredible book that deserves another read.
May 10, 2012 Natalie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I wish I wrote this book.
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Christina Gace marked it as to-read
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Tina Rosenberg, the winner of a MacArthur grant, is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a former member of the Times editorial board. Her book The Haunted Land won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
More about Tina Rosenberg...
Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World D for Deception Astiz: La estirpe de Cain T wie Täuschung (Kindle Single)

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