Book Review: U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe: Comintern and Peasant in East Europe 1919–1930

DOI10.1177/002070206702200237
Date01 June 1967
Published date01 June 1967
BOOK
REvIEws
345
The
author,
in
the
conclusion,
makes
an
attempt
at
evaluating
the
chances
of
the
various,
frequently
conflicting
development
trends
in
the
area
of
his study
This
makes
his
book
all
the
more
interesting
reading.
Will
the
"liberalization"
continue,
at
the
present
or
even
at
an
accelerated
pace,
or
is
there
a
real danger
of
a
relapse
into
"dog-
matism"'
9
Mr.
Skilling
is
very
careful
not
to
jump
to
conclusions
but
remains,
on
the
whole,
fairly
optimistic.
We
cannot but
agree
with
him
that
"the
differentiation
taking
place
among
the
Communist
states
is
one
of
the
most
striking
features
of
contemporary
Eastern
Europe"
It
is,
beside
that,
the
most
hopeful
one.
Munich
ZDENEK
SUDA
COMINTERN
AND
PEASANT
IN
EAST
EUROPE
1919-1930.
By
George
D.
Jackson,
Jr.
1966.
(New
York: Columbia
University
Press.
Toronto:
Copp
Clark.
ix,
339pp.
$8.50)
This
work
can
be
considered as
a
pioneering effort
in
its
field.
So
far
there
has
been
no
coherent
treatment
of
the
Soviet
effort
in
the
post-World
War
I
era
to
gain,
through the peasants,
a
strong
influence
upon
the
countries
of
East
Central
Europe
and
the
Northern
Balkan
region.
The
work
is
organized
in
three
parts:
a
short
introductory
one
which,
under the
heading
"Ideology
and Reality
presents the
basic
sociological,
economical
and
political
factors
and
trends
and
the ten-
sions which
developed
out
of
them;
a
second
part
dealing
mainly with
Soviet politics,
the
development,
in
and
from
Moscow,
of
"Krestintern"
(the
Red
Peasant
International)
with
all
the
ups
and
downs
which
it
experienced
under
changing leaderships,
first
by
Zinoviev
then
by
Bukharin,
with
some
influence wielded also
by
non-Russians
such
as
the
Pole
Tomasz
Dabal;
finally
a
phase
which,
reflecting
to
some
extent
the
difficulties
and
inconsistencies
of
Communist
agrarian
policy
on
the
home
ground
of
the
Soviet
Union,
is
characterized
by
the
complete
collapse
of
the
Red
Peasant
International
in
the
last
years
of
the
decade
and
the
beginning
of
the
1930s.
It
was
the
very time
during
which,
largely
based
on
the
initiative
of
the
Agrarian
Party
of
Czechoslovakia,
under
the
leadership
of
such
brilliant
men
as
Antonin
Svehla
and
Milan
Hodza,
the
anti-Communist
Peasant
movement
of
the
"Green
International"
began
to
develop
and,
for
a
while,
to
flourish.
It
is
this
second
part
of
the
book,
based
entirely
on
the
original
Russian
sources,
which
is
probably
the
most
valuable
contribution.
The
third
and
last
part
deals
with
the
individual
countries:
Bulgaria, Poland,
Yugoslavia,
Rumania
and
Czechoslovakia.
Hungary
is
left
out,
pre-
sumably
because,
after
the
debacle
of
the
first
Communist
Revolution
there,
not
only
the
Communist
movement
was
successfully
suppressed
but
even
the
Smallholders'
party
(which
later
proved
to
have
a
majority
of
the
Hungarian
people
behind
it)
could
not
develop
any
strength
under
the Horthy
regime
and
did
not
take
part
in
the
formation and
the
work
of
the Prague
"Green
International.
The
Communist
parties,
of
course,
did
not really
develop much
strength
in
the
other
countries
in
question
either,
with
the
one
important
exception
of
Czechoslovakia

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