Eastern Europe

An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture

by Richard Frucht, Editor


Modern-day Eastern Europe—the product of a complex past—was a mystery to the rest of the world for decades. A region often mistakenly perceived as one homogeneous "bloc," Eastern Europe is in reality a collection of rich and vibrant countries, vastly differing in their landscapes, peoples, governments, and cultures.

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Cover image for Eastern Europe

December 2004


Pages 928
Volumes 3
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Countries and Regions
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A contemporary analysis of the people, cultures, and society within the regions that make up Eastern Europe.

Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture sheds light on modern-day life in the 16 nations comprising Eastern Europe. Going beyond the history and politics already well documented in other works, this unique three-volume series explores the social and cultural aspects of a region often ignored in books and curricula on Western civilization.

The volumes are organized by geographic proximity and commonality in historical development, allowing the countries to be both studied individually and juxtaposed against others in the region. The first volume covers the northern tier of states, the second looks at lands that were once part of the Hapsburg empire, and the third examines the Balkan states. Each chapter profiles a single country—its geography, history, political development, economy, and culture—and gives readers a glimpse of the challenges that lie ahead. Vignettes on various topics of interest illuminate the unique character of each country.


  • Discusses the geography, history, political development, and economy of nations such as Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Albania, and many others
  • Includes historical profiles of significant people such as Konstantin Päts and Lydia Koidula, cultural events such as the Song Festival, and key events such as the sinking of the ferry Estonia
  • Presents maps of the entire region and each of the 16 countries, including Latvia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Greece
  • Includes discussions of Eastern European languages


  • Bridges the gap in knowledge of European history, which has primarily emphasized Western Europe
  • Includes discussions of the geography and demographics of the entire region
  • Explores economic issues and social problems within each country
Author Info

Richard Frucht, PhD, is professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO, and the editor of Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism.



"Written by a number of expert contributors . . . this set gives an invaluable overview of the entire region and is recommended for libraries catering to students at any level."Library Journal

"Overall, this is an excellent and informative reference work that subverts many of the myths of a backward and underdeveloped region and replaces them with rich, varied portrayals of human achievement and sociopolitical complexity. Recommended for academic and large public libraries."Booklist

"Accessible to high-school level students and above, and general readers."Reference & Research Book News

"These volumes provide a useful supplement to material covered in European history survey courses, detailed explanations for students seeking an understanding of the many factors affecting the often-difficult transitions for these countries, and solid information for those wanting to learn more about their cultural heritage."School Library Journal


Best Reference Source 2004 — Library Journal

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