Frank Dikötter on Communism in Eastern Europe

In Iron Curtain, Frank Dikötter reports, Anne Applebaum shows how Stalin and his agents set out to destroy every form of freedom in Eastern Europe after World War II yet failed to create a new Homo sovieticus. "Human beings do not acquire 'totalitarian personalities' with ease," she writes. "Even when they seem bewitched by the cult of the Leader or of the party, appearances can be deceiving."



Frank Dikötter, chair professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong, is the author of Mao's Great Famine, which won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. A prequel, titled The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, will be published by Bloomsbury in September 2013.

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