chapter  1
32 Pages

WHAT HAPPENED IN EASTERN EUROPE IN 1989?

ByDaniel Chirot

There are many ways of looking at the “Revolution of 1989.” As with other great revolutionary events-the French Revolution of 1789, the European revolutions of 1848, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, or the Chinese Revolution of 1949-economic, political, cultural, and social analyses offer only partial insights. Everything was interconnected, yet no single analysis can entirely absorb all aspects of such cataclysmic events. Even after two hundred years, the French Revolution is still a subject for debate, and novel interpretations remain possible; and if the political controversy generated by that revolution two centuries ago has cooled somewhat, for well over a century and a half it remained a burning issue at the center of European and world politics.1