Further Resources

Want to go deeper into the topic on your own? Here’s a list of films used and literature that you might find interesting. Through these, you can come closer to the reality of what life was like during communism.


Films used:

  • A Character in Need of Support [Postava k podpírání] [Film]. Directed by Pavel JURÁČEK. Czechoslovakia: Československý státní film, 1963.
  • A Piece of Heaven [Kousek nebe] [Film]. Directed by Petr NIKOLAEV. Czech Republic: Ateliéry Bonton Zlín – Česká televize – LUXOR, 2004.
  • All My Compatriots [Všichni dobří rodáci] [Film]. Directed by Vojtěch JASNÝ. Czechoslovakia: Filmové studio Barrandov, 1969.
  • August 68 [Srpen 68] [Documentary]. Directed by Jan SVOBODA. Czech Republic: Česká televize, 2003.
  • Country Gone Wild [Zdivočelá země] [TV Series]. Directed by Hynek BOČAN. Based on the Book by Jiří STRÁNSKÝ. Czech Republic: Česká televize, 1997-2012.
  • Elective Affinities [Spřízněni volbou] [Documentary]. Directed by Karel VACHEK. Czechoslovakia: Krátký film, 1968.
  • Head Made of Paper [Papierové hlavy] [Documentary]. Directed by Dušan HANÁK. Slovakia: Marian Urban, Philippe Avril, Maya Simon, 1995.
  • Here Comes May Again [A opět přišel máj] [Documentary]. Czechoslovakia: 1971.
  • Hot Porridge [Horká kaše] [Film]. Directed by Radovan URBAN. Based on the Book by Miloš CAJTHAML. Czechoslovakia: Filmové studio Barrandov, 1989.
  • Human rights in Czechoslovakia [Lidská práva v ČSSR] [Documentary]. Czechoslovakia: Krátký film, 1987.
  • Identity Card [Občanský průkaz] [Film]. Directed by Ondřej TROJAN. Based on the book by Petr ŠABACH. Czech Republic: Ondřej Trojan, 2010.
  • Lenin, the Lord and Mother [Vracenky] [Film]. Directed by Jan SCHMIDT. Czechoslovakia: Filmové studio Barrandov, 1990.
  • Return to Extraordinary Years [Návrat do neobyčejných let] [Documentary]. Directed by Karel HYNIE and Pavel TAUSSIG. Czech Republic: Česká televize, 2004.
  • The Blissful Years of Lousy Living [Báječná léta pod psa] [Film]. Directed by Petr NIKOLAEV. Based on the book by Michal VIEWEGH. Czech Republic: SPACE FILMS spol. s r.o, 1997.
  • The Czech Century. Part 5. The Killing of the Comrade. [České století. Díl 5. Zabíjení soudruha] [TV Episode]. Directed by Robert SEDLÁČEK. Czech Republic: Česká televize, 2013.
  • The Czechoslovak newsreel, no 32 [Československý filmový týdeník, č. 32] [News broadcast] Czechoslovakia: Krátký film, 1968.
  • Tomorrow There Will Be… [Zítra se bude…] [Theatre recording]. Directed by Jan HŘEBEJK and Jiří NEKVASIL. Czech Republic: IN FILM, 2010.
  • Velvet Revolution [Něžná revoluce] [Documentary]. Directed by Jiří STŘECHA and Petr SLAVÍK. Czechoslovakia: Krátký film, 1989.
  • Walking Too Fast [Pouta] [Film]. Directed by Radim ŠPAČEK. Czech Republic: Bionaut Films, 2009.
  • Way Leading to Happiness. [Cesta ke štěstí] [Film]. Directed by Jiří SEQUENS. Czechoslovakia: Československý státní film, 1951.
  • World in the movies 21/ 1968 [Svět ve filmu 21/1968] [Documentary]. Czechoslovakia: Krátký film, 1968.


General books about communism and Czech history:

  • Aulich, James, and Marta Sylvestrová. Political Posters in Central and Eastern Europe 1945 – 95: Signs of the Times. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999.
  • Bren, Paulina, and Neuburger, Mary, eds. Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe. New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Brown, Archie. The Rise and Fall of Communism. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009.
  • Brown, Archie and Jack Gray, eds. Political Culture and Political Change in Communist States. 2nd ed. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1979.
  • Cashman, Laura. 1948 and 1968 – Dramatic Milestones in Czech and Slovak History. Routledge Europe-Asia Studies, London: Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2013.
  • Corner, Paul. Popular Opinion in Totalitarian Regimes : Fascism, Nazism, Communism. Oxford: New York-Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Fowkes, Ben. Eastern Europe 1945-1969: From Stalinism to Stagnation. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • Fowkes, Ben. The Rise and Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. London: Macmillan Press, 1995.
  • Geyer, Michael, and Sheila Fitzpatrick, eds. Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared. 1st pub. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Jordanova, Dina. Cinema of the Other Europe: The industry and Artistry of East Central European Film. 1st pub. London: Wallflower Press, 2003.
  • Judt, Tony. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. London: Heinemann, 2005.
  • McDermott, Kevin. Communist Czechoslovakia, 1948 – 89: A Political and Social History. Palgrave MacMillan, 2015.
  • Pons, Silvio, and Robert Service, eds. A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.
  • Rothschild, Joseph, and Nancy M. Wingfield. Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe since World War II. New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Service, Robert. Comrades!: A History of World Communism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.
  • Versluis, Arthur. The New Inquisitions Heretic-Hunting and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Totalitarianism. New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • White, Stephen. Communism and Its Collapse. London: Routledge, 2002.



  • Ekiert, Grzegorz, and Stephen. E. Hanson. Capitalism and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: Assessing the Legacy of Communist Rule. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Esterházy, Péter. The Book of Hrabal. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1995.
  • Mark, James. The Unfinished Revolution: Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central-Eastern Europe. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
  • Mayer, Françoise. Les Tchèques et leur communisme: Mémoire et identité politiques. Paris: Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2004.
  • Stan, Lavinia, ed. Transitional Justice in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: Reckoning with the Communist Past. Oxon: Routledge, 2009.
  • Stasiuk, Andrzej. Tales of Galicia. Prague: Twisted Spoon Press, 2003.
  • Verdery, Katherine. What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.


Personal story

  • Fitzpatrick, Sheila. Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s. New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Bren, Paulina. The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring. Ithaca-London: Cornell University Press, 2010.
  • Crowley, David, and Susan Emily Reid, eds. Socialist spaces: Sites of everyday life in the Eastern Bloc. Oxford: Berg, 2002.
  • Feinstein, Joshua. The Triumph of the Ordinary: Depictions of Daily Life in the East German Cinema, 1949-1989. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.
  • Kundera, Milan. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. New York: HarperCollins, 1999.
  • Penn, Shana, and Jill Massino, eds. Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist Eastern and Central Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2009.


1950s – Show Trials

  • Applebaum, Anne. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956. London: Doubleday, 2012.
  • Abrams, Bradley F. Struggle for the Soul of the Nation: Czech Culture And the Rise of Communism. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
  • Kundera, Milan. The Joke. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.
  • Lengyel, József. From Beginning to End. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
  • McDermott, Kevin and Jeremy Agnew. The Comintern: A History of International Communism from Lenin to Stalin. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996.
  • Milosz, Czeslaw. The Captive Mind. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1997.
  • Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. New York: Bantam Books, 1990.
  • Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigating, 1918 – 1956. 3 volvs. Boulder Colo.: Westview Press, 1997.
  • Tismaneanu, Vladimir (Ed.). Stalinism Revisited: The Establishment of Communist Regimes in East-Central Europe. New York: Central European University Press, 2009.


1950s – Collectivization of Agriculture

  • Adams, Arthur E., and Jan S. Adams. Men versus Systems. Agriculture in the USSR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. New York: Free Press, 1971.
  • Iordachi, Constantin, and Arnd Bauerkamper (Eds.). The Collectivization of Agriculture in Communist Eastern Europe: Comparison and Entanglements. Budapest, New York: Central European University Press, 2014.
  • Kligman, Gail, and Katherine Verdery. Peasants under Siege: The Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Lynne, Viola. The Best Sons of the Fatherland: Workers in the Vanguard of Soviet Collectivization. New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Pryor, Frederic L. The Red and the Green: The Rise and Fall of Collectivized Agriculture in Marxist Regimes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014.
  • Wädekin, Karl Eugen, and Everett M. Jacobs. Agrarian Policies in Communist Europe: A Critical Introduction. The Hague: Rowman & Littlefield, 1982.
  • Wädekin, Karl-Eugen. Agrarian Policies in Communist Europe. A Critical Introduction, ed. The Hague: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc, 1982.


1968 – The Prague Spring:

  • Koudelka, Josef. Invasion Prague 68. London: Thames & Hudson, 2008.
  • Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. New York: Harper Collins, 2008.
  • Mlynář, Zdeněk. Nightfrost in Prague: The end of humane socialism. New York: Karz Publishers, 1980.
  • Skilling, Gordon H. Czechoslovakia’s Interrupted Revolution. Princeton: Princeton University, 1976.
  • Williams, Kieran. The Prague Spring and Its Aftermath: Czechoslovak Politics, 1968-1970. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.


Normalisation – Everyday Life

  • Bren, Paulina. The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring. Ithaca-London: Cornell University Press, 2010.
  • Esterházy, Péter. A Little Hungarian Pornography. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1995.
  • Eyal, Gil. The Origins of Postcommunist Elites: From Prague Spring to the Breakup of Czechoslovakia. Contradictions, vol. 17. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
  • Klíma, Ivan. No Saints or Angels. New York: Grove Press, 2001.
  • Kusin, Vladimir V. From Dubček to Charter 77: A Study of “Normalisation” in Czechoslovakia, 1968-1978. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978.


Normalisation – Dissidents

  • Bulgakov, Mikhail. The Master and Margarita. London: Penguin Publishing Group, 2016.
  • Ekiert, Grzegorz. The State Against Society Political Crises and Their Aftermath in East Central Europe. Princeton, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.
  • Falk, Barbara J. The Dilemmas of Dissidence in East-Central Europe: Citizen Intellectuals and Philosopher Kings. Budapest-New York: Central European University Press, 2003.
  • Havel, Václav. Letters to Olga: June 1979-September 1982. New York: Alfred a Knopf, Inc, 1988.
  • Kadare, Ismail.The Pyramid. New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc., 1996.
  • McDermott, Kevin, and Matthew Stibbe, eds. Revolution and Resistance in Eastern Europe: Challenges to Communist Rule. Oxford: Berg, 2006.
  • Pollack, Detlef, and Jan Wielgohs. Dissent and Opposition in Communist Eastern Europe: Origins of Civil Society and Democratic Transition. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004.
  • Roth, Philip. The Prague Orgy. London: Jonathan Cape, 1985.
  • Viola, Lynne. Peasant rebels under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant R New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Zantovsky, Michael. Havel: A Life. New York: Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2014.


1989 – Regime Collapse

  • Candole, James de. Czechoslovakia: Too Velvet a Revolution?. London: Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies, 1991.
  • Kenney, Padraic. A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2002.
  • Krapfl, James. Revolution with a Human Face: Politics, Culture, and Community in Czechoslovakia, 1989-1992. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013.
  • Saxonberg, Steven. The Fall: A Comparative Study of the End of Communism in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Poland. Vol. 11. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Smolar, Aleksander and Magdalena Potocka. History and Memory: The Revolutions of 1989-91. Journal of Democracy. 12:5-19. [DOI: 1353/jod.2001.0058]

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