Stalinism, that particularly brutal phase of the Communist experience, came to an end in most of Europe with the death of Stalin in 1953. However, in one country - Albania - Stalinism survived virtually unscathed until 1990. The regime that the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha led from 1944 until his death in 1985 was incomparably severe. Such was the reign of terror that no audible voice of opposition or dissent ever arose in the Balkan state and Albania became isolated from the rest of the world and utterly inward-looking. Three decades after his death, the spectre of Hoxha still lingers over the country, yet many people - inside and outside Albania - know little about the man who ruled the country with an iron fist for so many decades. This book provides the first biography of Hoxha available in English. Using unseen documents and first-hand interviews, journalist Blendi Fevziu pieces together the life of a tyrannical ruler in a biography which will be essential reading for anyone interested in Balkan history and communist studies.
It can seem as though the Cold War division of Europe was inevitable. But Stalin was more open to a settlement on the continent than is assumed. In this powerful reassessment of the postwar order, Norman Naimark returns to the four years after WWII to illuminate European leaders' efforts to secure national sovereignty amid dominating powers.