In the long-awaited National Book Award--shortlisted follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize--winning Gulag, acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Central Europe after WW II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway.
At the end of WW II, the Soviet Union, to its surprise and delight, found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Central Europe. It set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system: Communism. Iron Curtain describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created, and what daily life was like once they were completed. Applebaum draws on newly opened European archives and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief, rendered worthless their every qualification, and took away everything they had accumulated. Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality and strange aethestics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of this book.