CZECHOSLOVAKIA: A COUNTRY STUDY replaces the edition of this work published in 1982. Several important developments took place in Czechoslovakia in the period between the two publications. The dissident movement persisted in the face of persistent attempts by the government to crush it, and the number of Charter 77 signatories grew steadily. There also has been a revitalization of the Roman Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia. The church's rising popularity was underscored by the government's refusal to allow Pope John Paul II to participate in the festivities celebrating the 1,100th anniversary of the death of Saint Methodius. Perhaps most significant, the aging and conservative Czechoslovak leadership has been confronted in the last years with the growing challenge of glasnost' and perestroika, promoted by the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.
Like its predecessor, this edition attempts to deal with the dominant social, political, economic, and national security aspects of Czechoslovakia. Although the present volume incorporates considerable material from the 1982 edition, it is essentially a new book and contains statistical data and other relevant information from recently published sources. Sources of information included books and scholarly journals, officials reports of governments and international organizations, foreign and domestic newspapers, and conference papers and proceedings. Measurements are given in the metric system.
The contemporary place-names used in this edition are generally those approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The reader will find, for example, Prague rather than Praha and Danube rather than Dunaj.
A certain amount of inconsistency seems unavoidable with respect to historical personages. The names of many of the important actors appear here in anglicized form. The reader will note the use of such English names as George, Charles, and Frederick. But the authors have decided to use Jan Hus rather than the anglicized John Huss.
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