Traitor and reformer, persecutor and victim - Janos Kadar, Hungary's Communist leader from 1956 to 1988, had one of the most dramatic and influential political careers of the twentieth century. From poverty to power and then from prison back to power, Kadar played a leading role in both the rise and the ultimate collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. In the first English biography of Kdr since his death, Roger Gough analyses the scope and limits of reform in Kdr 's Hungary, showing how the failure of his policies contributed to the collapse of European communism. Gough leads the reader through the world of underground political activism, the turbulent days of revolution and Stalinist Hungary, deftly illuminating the man at the centre of the storm. After siding with the Soviet Union and overseeing the brutal suppression of his country's uprising, Kdr transformed his position to win domestic and international respect through political concessions, attempts at economic reform and a gradual opening to the West. But when the prosperity of 'goulash communism' proved illusory and foreign debt mounted, Kdr was ousted - ending his political career haunted by the long-suppressed crimes of his past. Half a century after Kdr 's betrayal of the 1956 uprising captured the world's attention, Gough paints a vivid portrait of the withdrawn, austere and tenacious man who dominated Hungarian political life for three decades. Reminiscent of a Shakespearean tragedy, this is the dramatic story of an ambiguous yet powerful personality who left his mark not just on Hungary but also on Europe and the international history of Communism.
Good Comrade, A
Janos Kadar, Communism and Hungary