Everyday Life in Eastern Europe

Annotated Bibliography

  1. David Crowley and Susan E. Reid, eds. Socialist Spaces: Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc. New York: Berg, 2002.
    This is a collection of articles treating public and private spaces, including streets, apartments, government buildings, and getaway houses, in a variety of Eastern European countries. It provides insight into official and unofficial uses of space to reinforce and resist communist single-party rule.
  2. Havel, Václav. "The Power of the Powerless." In John Keane, ed. The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1985.
    Havel, a founder of Charter '77 and the first President of Czechoslovakia after the 1989 revolution, wrote this essay in 1978. In it he presents the argument that the communist governments of Eastern Europe are post-totalitarian due to their appeals to consumerism; and he discusses the panorama of false symbols structuring the everyday life of peoples living in the East Bloc.
  3. Pittaway, Mark. Eastern Europe, 1939-2000. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
    This survey history emphasizes the social history of Eastern Europe during the Cold War period, and does so in a manner that also provides a useful introduction to major political events and leaders. The author is an expert in Hungarian history and thereby offers much information about living conditions in this country, a fact that serves as the nice complement to the Czech emphasis in the everyday-life teaching module.
  4. Reid, Susan E. and David Crowley, eds. Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe. New York: Berg, 2000.
    The articles in this edited work discuss ideas of style in numerous Eastern European countries, and do so in a manner that illuminates the history of shopping in the region, showing much about communist efforts to use consumerism as a means of securing loyalty and legitimacy from its populations.