7 posts tagged with IronCurtain.
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kafkarna

On Gottland
Gottland is not a novel, but that proves difficult to remember. The book, playfully subtitled Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia, is technically a work of reportage, and its author, Mariusz Szczygieł, one of Poland’s best-known journalists. Most of Gottland’s tales, however, seem better suited to Soviet science fiction—or even Russian absurdism—than to actual European history. Szczygieł, aware of his essays’ incredibility, alludes to it not only in Gottland’s subtitle but also in a more blatant disclaimer to his readers: “From here on, most of what we know . . . should be labeled with the first sentence from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, which goes: ‘All this happened, more or less.’”

posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 20, 2014 - 8 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

Yugo Lada

To get one large point out of the way: In the new book, The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, several contributors rapidly acknowledge the oxymoron of the title as well as the practice of owning a car in the former Soviet Empire. The private automobile, that avatar of western individualism, is difficult to square with collectivist notions. And once its owners were at the wheel, these socialist automobiles were often difficult to reconcile with notions of mechanical reliability. More than one contemporary joke appears in the text; the introduction, for instance offers, “Why does a Trabant have a heated rear window? To keep your hands warm when pushing it.” All that aside, the collection of essays edited by Lewis Siegelbaum, is a fascinating look at automobile use, production, and urban planning behind the Iron Curtain. It reveals a system that, if far from socialist or egalitarian in origin, created a culture of automobile use distinct from the western world.
posted by infini on Jan 28, 2012 - 23 comments

Hate mail from in front of the iron curtain

During the cold war Wartburg and Skoda exported cars from the Eastern Bloc to the United States. An action that was . . . controversial. One dealership received both love and hate mail.
posted by Mitheral on Oct 17, 2011 - 20 comments

The Iron Lady ❤s The Iron Curtain

New Documents from the Soviet Archives reveal that as the Warsaw Pact was falling apart, Margaret Thatcher called Gorbachev to inform him that:
The reunification of Germany is not in the interests of Britain and Western Europe. It might look different from public pronouncements, in official communiqué at Nato meetings, but it is not worth paying ones attention to it. We do not want a united Germany. This would have led to a change to post-war borders and we can not allow that because such development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security. In the same way, a destabilisation of Eastern Europe and breakdown of the Warsaw Pact are also not in our interests.
This backs up assertions from former German Chancellor Kohl's new memoir that Thatcher put up obstacles to German Re-unification, fearing the rise of a Fourth Reich.
posted by empath on Sep 10, 2009 - 78 comments

The Lost Border: Photographs of the Iron Curtain

The Lost Border: Photographs of the Iron Curtain
posted by Armitage Shanks on Dec 6, 2007 - 22 comments

Prague Spring

The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Posters, pamphlets, social protest material. 'In the morning hours of August 21, 1968, the Soviet army invaded Czechoslovakia along with troops from four other Warsaw Pact countries. The occupation was the beginning of the end for the Czechoslovak reform movement known as the Prague Spring. This web site contains material from the days immediately following the invasion, and they reflect the atmosphere in Czechoslovakia at the time: tense, chaotic, uncertain, full of pathos, fear, and expectation... '
Related :- the Berlin Wall and East Side Gallery; A Concrete Curtain: The Life and Death of the Berlin Wall; Szoborpark in Budapest, with its gigantic Cold War-era statues.
posted by plep on Aug 12, 2003 - 6 comments

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