Intellectuals and the Communist Idea describes how the Communist ideology penetrated into Czech culture and politics from the dawn of the twentieth century into the late 1930s, just before the outbreak of WW II in Europe. Based mainly upon the research of contemporary primary sources, the analysis examines the complex issue of personal reasons and individual motivations, appealing slogans, and ideological and power peripheries connected with the formation of the relationship between the newly-founded Communist Party in Czechoslovakia and the left-wing artists and intellectuals declaring themselves Marxists. The work follows two main paths: the first is marked by the melting of the pre-war (meaning WWI) libertarian communism and radical left-wing stream in Czech politics into the Czechoslovak Communist Party, established in 1921 and becoming a strong and relevant political subject soon after its foundation. The second path follows the left-wing art front involvement in the Communist Party and its activities within. This concise insight into the world of Czech Communist intellectuals uncovers the ideological bigotry and intolerance of the Communist class-defined ideology, together with pointing out the unprincipled pragmatics of the ideological flops committed by the members of the interwar Communist movement under Lenin's and later Stalin's ward. The book illustrates clearly how the initial enthusiasm of the Czech Communist intellectuals eventually changed either into disillusionment resulting in their disaffiliation with Communism, or into permanent fear and obedient loyalty, which later became the base for establishing the Communist system in post-WW II Czechoslovakia.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 210
Weight: 503 g
Dimensions: 239 x 162 x 20 mm
From the close of the 19th century to the end of WW II, Intellectuals and the Communist Idea maps the political and cultural movements of the left in Central Europe, focusing specifically on Czech and Slovak circumstances. Cabada paints a nuanced portrait of a tumultuous time when the enemy-literal or ideological-alternated among capitalism, fascism, Nazism, and Soviet communism. In the end, it wasn't clear where left culture and politics stood-to what extent they won or lost and at what cost-but Cabada's Intellectuals and the Communist Idea offers a fascinating sketch of the struggle and is essential reading for those seeking to understand the left, whether then or now. -- Lev Kreft, University of Ljubljana
Intellectuals and the Communist Idea in Czech Lands picks up on the long-term process of the forming of the modern Czech nation. The process wasn't related to the Church, nobility, or parishes but to intellectuals. It is therefore crucial for understanding the success, strength, and characteristics of Czech communism that we analyze the role of intellectuals, and it is precisely this question that this book deals with. -- Stanislav Balik, Masaryk University
Ladislav Cabada, a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, accurately notes that political science became a "new" discipline in the former Communist bloc after 1989, and that he has taken advantage of this opportunity to study this formerly frowned upon area of research. He also rightly points out, much to the chagrin of many political scientists and historians, that the two disciplines are closely related. Indeed this volume, published in Czech in 2000 and again in 2005, and now available to a wider audience in English, is his doctoral thesis that is equally at home in either discipline.
This is an interesting volume whose subchapters allow for an easy read. It adds to our knowledge of writers and their struggles with or lackey support of Communism, especially during the interwar period in Czechoslovakia * Austrian History Yearbook *