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Czechoslovakia: Preface
Country Study > Preface


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. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book, and brief comments on some of the more valuable sources recommended for further reading appear at the end of each chapter. Measurements are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist readers unfamiliar with metric measurements. A Glossary is also included.

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.

Data as of August 1987

Last Updated: August 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Czechoslovakia was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Czechoslovakia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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