The Workers' State: Industrial Labor and the Making of Socialist Hungary, 1944-1958 (Hardback)Mark Pittaway (author)
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Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 703 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 30 mm
--Martha Lampland, University of California, San Diego
"In this imaginatively conceived and meticulously researched book, the late Mark Pittaway masterfully reconstructs the history of Hungary's working class in the early years of Communist rule. Fiercely committed to a 'history from below' in all its messy complexity, Pittaway uncovers the strategies of negotiation, bargaining, and resistance with which Hungarian workers made a place for themselves in the newly created workers' state. This is social history at its finest, theoretically sophisticated, lucidly argued, and provocative in its claims. It will be essential reading for all historians of East-Central Europe."
--Paul Hanebrink, Rutgers University
"A necessary book for comparative political scientists who want to examine Hungary's political system (especially the election system). Due to the fact that it examines identities as a whole, the book is suitable for providing relevant comparative criterions."
--Politics in Central Europe
"Pittaway's study not only expands our knowledge of the complexities of the communist experiment in Hungary but also provides insight into the fragile relations between the workers and the modern state. Critics might find his generalizations about the nature of the communist regime slightly exaggerated, being drawn from three specific case studies, because it does not include other social groups. However, his detailed history of the everyday struggle of representatives of the working class demonstrates how far removed communist policies really were, and why the party soon became the oppressor in the eyes of those it wanted to liberate in order to create the new ideal society."
--American Historical Review
"Occupies a place of distinction not only in the scholarship on the political engagement of the industrial workers in Hungary, but in the research on the history of the industrial workers in Europe. It situates the attempt to create Socialism in Hungary in an international context and thus provides a point of departure for further comparative study. Pittaway's research, work that spanned a decade and a half, has revitalized scholarship on the subject, which had been increasingly marginalized in the historiography. In all likelihood his monograph will influence research on the lives and experiences of industrial workers, who represented the largest social bloc and whose living coniditions should therefore be in the forefront of scholarship on the era, for decades."
--Hungarian Historical Review
"Apart from making a strong argument thoroughly grounded in archival sources and full command of the secondary literature, Pittaway's work is a refreshing reinterpretation of a crucial period in the making of socialist Hungary."
"Based upon an extraordinary amount of research, The Workers' State argues for the pivotal importance of industrial workers in the ultimate establishment of 'stable socialist rule in twentieth-century Hungary."
--Journal of Modern History
"Path-breaking . . . sheds new light on the social origins of 1956 by exploring the reasons for the workers' mounting discontent and the deeply seated disappointment with 'their' regime. A landmark in the writing of twentieth-century Hungarian history."