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The ‘Anti-Prague Spring’: Neo-Stalinist and Ultra-Leftist Extremism in Czechoslovakia, 1968–70

  • Kevin McDermottEmail author
  • Vítězslav Sommer
Chapter
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Abstract

McDermott and Sommer’s chapter focuses on an important, but under-researched controversy in the history of the Prague Spring: the beliefs, mentalities and impact of the ultra-reactionary ‘neo-Stalinists’ in the Czechoslovak Communist Party. Conventional wisdom has it that the party and nation stood solidly behind Dubček’s reforms, aside from a tiny band of ‘traitors’. The authors suggest that while the bulk of party activists broadly supported the ‘renewal process’, there was a tenacious core of sectarians vocally promoting the thesis that ‘counter-revolution’ was stalking Czechoslovakia and, crucially, such ideas influenced large swathes of regional officials, party members and industrial workers. McDermott and Sommer conclude that these diffuse anti-reformist undercurrents were mobilised after the invasion to affect the relatively smooth transition from the Prague Spring to ‘normalisation’.

Keywords

Czechoslovak Politics Fraternal Assistance Political Cabinet Warsaw Pact Invasion Social Fascists 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Jitka Bílková, Pavel Kobera, Božena Vlčková, Jitka Vondrová and especially Jiří Hoppe for their kind assistance in locating archival sources for this chapter.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.Institute of Contemporary HistoryCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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