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August 14, 2019
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v2.1 Reference

The Long 1989

Decades of Global Revolution

The fall of communism in Europe is now the frame of reference for any mass mobilization, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement to Brexit. Even thirty years on, 1989 still figures as a guide and motivation for political change. It is now a platitude to call 1989 a "world event," but the chapters in this volume show how it actually became one. 

The authors of these nine essays consider how revolutionary events in Europe resonated years later and thousands of miles away: in China and South Africa, Chile and Afghanistan, Turkey and the USA. They trace the circulation of people, practices, and concepts that linked these countries, turning local developments into a global phenomenon. At the same time, they examine the many shifts that revolution underwent in transit. All nine chapters detail the process of mutation, adaptation, and appropriation through which foreign affairs found new meanings on the ground. They interrogate the uses and understandings of 1989 in particular national contexts, often many years after the fact. Taken together, this volume asks how the fall of communism in Europe became the basis for revolutionary action around the world, proposing a paradigm shift in global thinking about revolution and protest.

About the Authors

Piotr H. Kosicki is Assistant Professor of History, University of Maryland.

Kyrill Kunakhovich is Assistant Professor of History, University of Virginia.

Reviews

"The collective volume aims to analyse the events of 1989 in a broader perspective. On the one hand, it interrogates the impact of the 1989 revolutions of Central and Eastern Europe in the world at that particular moment, and, on the other, it argues that the revolution which started in 1989 goes on while inspiring mass mobilisation in other areas and in recent years, as was the case with the 'Arab spring', or the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement in the USA, to name but a few. Inspired by the idea of Joseph de Maistre, who wrote about the French Revolution of 1789 that 'for a long time we did not fully understand the revolution of which we were witnesses; for a long time, we took it to be an event. We were mistaken; it was an epoch', the editors and the authors look at how the events of 1989 and their aftermath 'resonated years later and thousands of miles away'. The nine chapters deal with various topics such as Poland and the apartheid in South Africa, Soviet Central Asia, Tiananmen, the American Culture Wars, the Iraq war and the Middle East, the uprisings of 2011 in Northern Africa and the Occupy movement, the Euromaidan, etc."—Claudia-Florentina Dobre, MemoScapes: Romanian Journal of Memory and Identity Studies

Endorsements

Piotr Kosicki and Kyrill Kunakhovich have produced an illuminating volume of essays highlighting the value of transnational history. Looking at "The Long 1989," they show how perceptions and misperceptions about the fall of communism in Eastern Europe shaped subsequent events in Central Asia and the Middle East, in Washington and Beijing, in Ukraine and South Africa. Vividly illustrating how ideas about 1989 reverberated across the globe, these thoughtful, insightful, carefully crafted chapters force us to think long and hard about the multiple, malleable, unpredictable, and often contradictory meanings of the events of 1989.—Melvyn P. Leffler

Kosicki and Kunakhovich have expertly edited an intriguing series of studies of the worldwide reverberations of the 1989 revolutions in Eastern and Central Europe. Moreover, these thoughtful articles plumb the depths of the meaning of 1989 for mass politics and citizenship in the twenty-first century.—Norman M. Naimark

Given the global nature of the historic events of 1989 and their impact, we are unlikely to see a single-author monograph that could do what this book can do. It recuperates the place of 1989 in world history, helping us see how far-reaching are the ripples from that year.—Padraic Kenney

9789633862834 : the-long-1989-kosicki-kunakhovich
Hardback
290 Pages
$75.00 USD

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