The “Velvet Revolution” in a kaleidoscope of fates of “ordinary people” Cover Image
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„Sametová revoluce“ v kaleidoskopu osudů „obyčejných lidí“
The “Velvet Revolution” in a kaleidoscope of fates of “ordinary people”

Author(s): Lucie Rajlová
Subject(s): History, Oral history, Recent History (1900 till today), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), History of Communism, Post-Communist Transformation
Published by: Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR
Keywords: Czechoslovakia 1968-1989;czech society;oral history;Velvet Revolution (1989);

Summary/Abstract: Vaněk, Miroslav and Pavel Mücke: Velvet revolutions: An oral history of Czech society. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, ix + 251 pp., ISBN978-0-19-934272-3. If a publishing house as renowned as Oxford University Press publishes a book representing it, it is in the reviewer’s opinion an exceptional success of the Czech historiography. As a matter of fact, this is what Miroslav Vaněk and Pavel Mücke have achieved with their "Velvet revolutions: An oral history of Czech society". It is a pioneering work which, using oral history, systematically conveys and interprets perceptions, thinking, opinions, and attitudes of “ordinary people” during the period of more than two decades from the Prague Spring to the fall of the Communist regime and democratic transformation; more over, being focused on an international audience, it enables such perceptions, thinking, opinions, and attitudes to be understood across the mental barrier of the former Iron Curtain. The publication is based on an analysis and interpretation of more than three hundred methodologically conducted interviews most of which date back to between 2006 and 2013 and whose purpose was to record stories and experience of “ordinary people” during the period in question in a structured manner, i.e. with a focus on several central topics, including politics, family, school and education, employment and unemployment, perception of the West, travelling, and leisure.

  • Issue Year: XXV/2018
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 537-541
  • Page Count: 5
  • Language: Czech