By Prof. Janine R. Wedel
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Extra info for Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe, 1990-1997
Many Poles had mastered the sophisticated art of impressing Westerners while maneuvering to get what they wanted. The opportunities for Poles and their Central and Eastern European neighbors to use this skill expanded enormously after 1989. With America “winning” the Cold War and sensing history in the making, all sorts of Westerners came to tout the virtues of capitalism and democracy and to help transform the liberated satellites from centrally planned to market economies. Under communism, Central and Eastern Europe had been a wilderness of too many regulations that many citizens did not obey and rigid ideologies that most did not believe in.
17 COUSINS IN THE EAST Apart from providing the West with an opportunity for major philanthropy, the collapse of communism offered it an historic opportunity to reconnect with the East. ” The region’s “transition” was likened to the recovery of an ill patient with whom “we” had close cultural and historical bonds and from whom “we” had been separated only by an accident of history. The nations of Central Europe had been torn from Europe and forced into the Soviet orbit by the politics of the Cold War, not free will.
Cohen, Gerald Creed, Steve Ebbin, Dan Guttman, Michael Illner, Kristine Kassekert, David Kideckel, Dave Lempert, Dave Mathiasen, Erind Pajo, Elena Petkova, Karla Scappini, Brian Wickland, Anne Williamson, and Lou Zanardi also provided valuable guidance on issues in the manuscript. I am grateful to Chris Suddick for her creative cartoons and willingness to work with me on the project. And I wish to thank Karen Wolny, my editor, and Diana Finch, my agent, for their support. Throughout the project, many people assisted in selfless and gracious ways.