310 Eszter Bartha Eszter Bartha At first glance David Ost’s book entitled The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Postcommunist Europe has little in common with John Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger. While the latter is situated in postwar Britain and is engaged with anger and frustration at having lost an empire, the year of 1989 indicated the collapse of the Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the liberation of the satellite states. Happiness, however, did not last long: restructuring and the massive reduction of the former socialist industry demanded huge sacrifices from the population and it was mainly the working classes that had to pay the human costs. The anger of the Polish working class at the way the capitalist market economy was implemented is central to Ost’s argument. Just like in the play Look Back in Anger, the politicization of emotions has a key role in The Defeat of Solidarity. Since Don Kalb gives a precise summary of the book’s main arguments, the purpose of my contribution is less to introduce The Defeat of Solidarity than to reflect on some of the points raised by Don Kalb and Kacper Pobłocki as well as to add
East Central Europe – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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