Socialist Escapes: Breaking Away from Ideology and Everyday Routine in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989

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Cathleen M. Giustino, Catherine J. Plum, Alexander Vari
Berghahn Books, 2013 - History - 284 pages

During much of the Cold War, physical escape from countries in the East Bloc was a near impossible act. There remained, however, possibilities for other socialist escapes, particularly time away from party ideology and the mundane routines of everyday life. The essays in this volume examine sites of socialist escapes, such as beaches, camp sites, nightclubs, concerts, castles, cars, and soccer matches. The chapters explore the effectiveness of state efforts to engineer society through leisure, entertainment, and related forms of cultural programming and consumption, as it was in leisure and tourism that the party's intentions encountered Eigen-Sinn, the pursuit of individual interests. This volume leads to a deeper understanding of state– society relations in the East Bloc, where the state did not simply “dictate from above” and inhabitants had some opportunities to shape solidarities, identities, and meaning.

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About the author (2013)

Cathleen M. Giustino is Professor of History at Auburn University where she teaches courses on modern Central and Eastern European history.

Catherine J. Plum is Associate Professor of History at Western New England University where she teaches courses on modern European and German history.

Alexander Vari is Associate Professor of Modern European History at Marywood University.

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