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The Prague Spring as a Laboratory

Martin Schulze Wessel presents new book at the Leipzig Book Fair 2019


On Friday 22 March, Professor Dr Martin Schulze Wessel, speaker of the Graduate School, is going to present his newly edited book "The Prague Spring as a Laboratory" at the Leipzig Book Fair 2019. This volume features selected papers of the Collegium Carolinum's annual conference 2017 dealing with actors and the spirit of optimism during the Prague Spring 1968. It will be published with Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in April. 

Retrospectively, the Prague Spring appears to have been a coherent but unsuccessful experiment in finding a synthesis of Western democracy and socialism. However, this perspective ignores that different groups and individuals participated in these developments and shaped the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia with their completely varying professional, generational, national, and gender-specific experiences. What appears retrospectively as a goal-oriented reform movement or as an “interrupted revolution” looked in the eyes of the protagonists rather like the situation in a laboratory, where they worked on new syntheses with uncertain results. The volume focuses on the protagonists’ ideas of politics, society, and their reform plans. Of particular interest is the question which new thoughts about the interrelation of politics, science, economics, and arts were developed in Czechoslovakia.

"The Prague Spring as a Laboratory" will be presented by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht at the Leipzig Book Fair in an event at Forum OstSüdOst (Halle 4, Stand E501) starting at 1:30 p.m. Martin Schulze Wessel is going to read relevant extracts from the book and to discuss the Prague Spring protagonists' ideas of politics, society, and their reform plans with the audience. For further information on this event, please click the following link to the book fair's online programme.

Martin Schulze Wessel is Chair of East and Southeast European History at LMU Munich, speaker of the Graduate School and First Chairman of the "Collegium Carolinum - Research Institute for the History of the Czech Lands and Slovakia."

Martin Schulze Wessel (ed.)
The Prague Spring as a Laboratory
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019
310 pages

ISBN: 978-3-525-35598-5

Cover: © Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019

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