2017

2015

2014

The Costs of Reunification

Here’s a condensed version of what happened in Germany in 1989-90. The Germans in the East rose up against their authoritarian regime because they wanted freedom. Eventually they also got the German deutschmark and reunification. The cost of that economic and political reunification was shouldered almost entirely by West Germans while the benefits flowed mostly… Continue reading The Costs of Reunification

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Cement

Fyodor Gladkov published his novel Cement in 1925. One of the first examples of socialist realism, it depicted the post-revolutionary construction of the Soviet Union from the point of view of a cement factory. Gleb, a Soviet soldier who returns to his hometown, discovers that in a few short years everyone has forgotten about the… Continue reading Cement

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Working Women

Women entered the workforce in large numbers in East-Central Europe after World War II. One reason was necessity. The countries had been devastated by war, and many able-bodied men had died as soldiers and forced laborers. Another reason was ideology. Communism emphasized full employment. Women in the region would eventually participate in the labor market… Continue reading Working Women

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