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Beyond the Divide
Entangled Histories of Cold War Europe
Edited by Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen
335 pages, 7 illus., 1 table, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-866-1 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2015)
ISBN 978-1-78533-826-7 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (May 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78238-867-8 eBook
“Nearly 30 years after the dissolution of the USSR (signaling the close of the Cold War), it is somewhat surprising that a team of academics could provide such a timely work, spanning 11 European countries… [The] diverse perspectives from various disciplines and fields (connected through the study of history) across the European nations is one of the largest strengths of this volume. Highly recommended.” • Choice
“The volume’s concise introduction and chapters, none of which exceeds twenty pages (including footnotes), are well suited to seminar discussions along the lines drawn [in the volume], one through the Iron Curtain, and another toward, through, and around the institutions above it.” • Slavic Review
“The value of this volume is based in the abundance of empirical insights into the manifold attempts to overcome the ideological divisions and the receptiveness of the involved actors…This volume is a welcome and important contribution, offering much material and inspiration for further case studies and comparative overviews.” • Forschungen zur Baltischen Geschichte
“Beyond the Divide introduces new themes to the field of the Cold War culture by giving voice to themes that have not been widely discussed in Cold War historiography. Not only the geographical coverage but also topics from politics to science, from friendship societies to media, from television to popular culture create a picture of active exchanges that took place in spite of the division and restriction caused by the Cold War…It is a volume that is worth reading.” • European History Quarterly
“Where did the power of the Cold War begin and what were its limits in terms of defining social reality? Mikkonen’s and Koivunen’s fresh and innovative anthology succeeds in pushing this important question once more to the top of the research agenda.” • Neue Politische Literatur
“It is rare that edited volumes cover the European continent so broadly in terms of geography. Furthermore, many of the chapters focus on individual actions and impact, which adds a certain personal depth to the larger story of exchanges, cooperation, and cultural relations across the Iron Curtain.” • Rósa Magnúsdóttir, Aarhus University
“The overall message is that time has come to overcome traditional Cold War narratives and to look at European societies in detail. I think this volume will have an impact both on Cold War research and on teaching European history.” • Annette Vowinckel, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam
Cold War history has emphasized the division of Europe into two warring camps with separate ideologies and little in common. This volume presents an alternative perspective by suggesting that there were transnational networks bridging the gap and connecting like-minded people on both sides of the divide. Long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, there were institutions, organizations, and individuals who brought people from the East and the West together, joined by shared professions, ideas, and sometimes even through marriage. The volume aims at proving that the post-WWII histories of Western and Eastern Europe were entangled by looking at cases involving France, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, and others.
Simo Mikkonen is a Finnish Academy Research fellow in the Department of History and Ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He is the author of State Composers and the Red Courtiers: Music, Ideology, and Politics in the Soviet 1930s (2009).
Pia Koivunen is lecturer in European and World History at the University of Turku. She is currently completing a monograph on the World Youth Festival and Soviet Cultural Diplomacy; and another book on individuals’ experiences on traveling to Eastern Europe during the Cold War years.
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
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