One of the achievements of the Reagan-Thatcher years – surprisingly overlooked by many ABC commentators when the former British prime minister died earlier this month – was to smash the iron grip of the Soviet Union on Central and Eastern Europe.
At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to a completely new political and moral system: communism. Anne Applebaum’s new book Iron Curtain describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created, and what daily life was like once they were complete.
The book describes how political parties, the church, the media, young people’s organizations – the institutions of civil society on every level – were eviscerated, how the secret police services were organized, how ethnic cleansing was carried out – and how some people were forced to collaborate while others managed to resist.
The AIIA is delighted to welcome Anne, who is a Pulitzer prize winning author and columnist for some of the world’s leading newspapers, including the Washington Post. Visits to Sydney by journalists of her calibre are rare, so please book early.
Anne Applebaum is an American journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning authorwho has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. She has been an editor at The Economist, and a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post(2002–2006) and Slate Magazine. She lives in Warsaw, and is married toPoland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski.
Anne Applebaum has also been an editor at The Spectator, and a columnist for London’s The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. She also wrote forThe Independent. Working for The Economist, she provided coverage of important social and political transition.
Abbey Books will be at Glover Cottages selling copies of Anne’s book.
A glass of wine will be served.
Entry cost: free