Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed

Mary Heimann

Research output: Book/ReportBook

35 Citations (Scopus)


The most thoroughly researched and accurate history of Czechoslovakia to appear in English, tells the story of the country from its founding in 1918 to partition in 1992 - from fledgling democracy through Nazi occupation, Communist rule, invasion by the Soviet Union to - at last - democracy again. The common Western view of Czechoslovakia has been that of a small nation which was sacrificed at Munich in 1938, betrayed to the Soviets in 1948 and which rebelled heroically against the repression of the Soviet Union during the Prague Spring of 1968. Mary Heimann dispels these myths and shows how intolerant nationalism and an unhelpful sense of victimhood led Czech and Slovak authorities to discriminate against minorities, compete with the Nazis to persecute Jews and Gypsies and pave the way for the Communist police state. She also reveals Alexander Dubcek, held to be a national hero and standard-bearer for democracy, as an unprincipled apparatchik. Well written, revisionist and accessible, this groundbreaking book should become the standard history of Czechoslovakia for years to come.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew Haven and London
Number of pages432
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2011


  • European history
  • Czechoslovak culture
  • Czechoslovakia


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