Applebaum brings an impassioned, critical eye to the creation and maintenance of the Soviet system: the methodical, carefully staged infiltration of key institutions, the often violent elimination of competing voices, and the slow subversion of public and private institutions.
As the leader of Britain's Labour Party and the leading contender to become the next prime minister, Tony Blair has stirred excitement in Europe with his promise to reinvent the left. But who is he, what would he do once in power, and where is "left" in a post-Thatcherite Britain and a post-communist Europe? Blair has made his own personal break with socialism, but lacks a replacement. His strategy has been to offer proposals, then retreat at the first sign of criticism. He can talk like a Tory, and sometimes borrows from their playbook. He may be the harbinger of the new left, but he must establish exactly what that means.
In Central Europe the greatest threat to democracy comes not from the nationalists but from the better-organized former communist parties. Encouraging Western-style conservative parties would provide economic and political competition.