This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on Eastern Europe to examine the world's richest history of change in the politics of unemployment. It shows how the early Hungarian Communist Party focused intensely on eliminating unemployment before World War two, but accepted unemployment upon seizing state power after the war. The book also shows how the state-socialist taboo against unemployment was a product of the politics of de-Stalinization, not hard-line Stalinism. It argues that the taboo resulted from the particular emphasis placed on state employment in the implicit compromise between regime and governed that followed the failed 1956 revolution. The book describes the embrace of "planned reallocations" as a virtuous form of involuntary joblessness. It shows how the Party's embrace of socialist entrepreneurship as a contending prototype of employment further eroded the unemployment taboo.