The Morning After

Here are four Quarantottesco books, all Liberty on the Barricades, beards striking poses, étude revolutionnaire throbbing away.

Issue: Winter 1993-1994

David Remnick, Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (New York: Random House, 1993), 575 pp.

John B. Dunlop, The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 360 pp.

Anatol Lieven, The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1993), 454 pp.

Andrew Nagorski, The Birth of Freedom: Shaping Lives and Societies in the New Eastern Europe (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), 319 pp.

Some time in early 1988, Zbigniew Brzezinski came to London and lectured on "the spring-time of peoples." On the evidence of pamphlets and "feel," he said that communism would soon be over. There would be rebellion everywhere, and the nations would claim freedom. By his title, "Spring-time of Peoples," he was evoking 1848. In that year, the buds leafed in February, there was a revolt in Paris, and revolt followed, nearly everywhere else in Central Europe, within weeks. The old men of the old order slunk away, and for a time there was a carnival atmosphere.

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