Czechoslovakia played an important role within the Soviet bloc, yet its history remains underresearched. This monograph blends historical analysis of the superpowers’ foreign policies with an assessment of their impact on Czechoslovakia and its position within the Soviet bloc. The book thereby places Czechoslovakia on the map of Cold War history, i.e. the era of “mutually assured destruction” that lasted almost half a century. It provides a lucid introduction to some milestones in international Cold War history in their relation to Czecho-Slovak history. The book’s novel contribution is to explain Czechoslovakia’s domestic situation during the Cold War from the “outside.” Drawing on extensive source materials of Slovak, Czech, American, and Russian provenance, it provides a more comprehensive understanding of postwar Czecho-Slovak history while also contributing to general knowledge about the nature and impact of the Cold War.
Slavomir Michalek is director of the Institute of History at the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. He is author or editor of, among other books, San Francisco 1945 (2015), Gustav Husak (2013), 20 rokov samostatnej Slovenskej republiky (20 Years of Independent Slovakia, 2013), Za hranicou sloboda (Behind the Border, there Is Freedom, 2013) and Dubcek (2018).
Michal ?tefansky worked at the Institute of Military History in Bratislava as well as the Institutes of Political Science and History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. In 1989, he was a member of the government commission for the historical analysis of the years 1967–1970. He is author of, among other books, Studena vojna a Slovensko 1946–1954/1955–1962 (The Cold War and Slovakia, 2008/2012) and Krizy re?imov sovietskeho bloku (The Crises of the Soviet Bloc Regimes, 2007).