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Chess Game for Democracy: Hungary Between East and West, 1944-1947

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In the turbulent years between 1944 and 1947, Hungarian politics was marked by constant conflict between the two most powerful parties in the governing coalition - the Independent Smallholders Party and the Communist Party. The history of this struggle reads like a series of moves in a dramatic chess game, where no one could predict the outcome. Chess Game for Democracy, Maria Palasik examines this ill-fated conflict to explain how it was possible for the parties to work together in a coalition government, while constantly at odds with each other. Her reconstruction of the debates over the introduction of the law to protect the republic against conspiracy and the politics behind the Hungarian Brotherhood show trial are grounded in her pathbreaking research in the archives of the state security agencies. Through the case study of a single country, Chess Game for Democracy makes a major contribution to ongoing debates on the origins of the Cold War in Europe and the process of Sovietization in Central and Eastern Europe, improving our understanding of European history post World War Two and of the reasons for changing relations between the superpowers.

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