In This Review

Socialist Authority: The Hungarian Experience
Socialist Authority: The Hungarian Experience
By Peter A. Toma
Praeger, 1988, 176 pp.

Professor Toma devotes a good deal of time and space to theorizing about the nature of authority and legitimacy and how the political leadership in Hungary has attempted to create a democratic ideology of socialism that takes account of the interests of the people while preserving the ultimate power of the party. Much of that discussion is less interesting than the extensive description of how things actually work in practice; that is, how people get around the system without challenging it. Particularly instructive, and also controversial, is the author's delineation of "the Hungarian social character," which in a subtle way has "socialized" the Communist Party and its leadership and made possible modernization without conflict.