Victor Sebestyen

Stalin Supreme

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944–1956

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 614pp £25 order from our bookshop

Stalin famously said, midway through the Second World War, that when the fighting was over, whoever occupied a territory ‘would impose their own social system on that territory … it can be no other way’. Every now and then the monster called things right. The western Allies introduced liberal democracy into states often unfamiliar with it, promoting free markets and independent legal systems. In western Europe, through choice, people have stuck with the democratic idea, however imperfect, ever since.

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