Why has the collapse of Communism resulted in so much disappointment for the hopeful millions of Eastern Europe? In the revised edition of this thoughtful and provocative book Philip Longworth argues that their predicament is only partly due to the imposition of the Soviet system but rather that they are the heirs of misfortune which dates back centuries. In exploring the origins of current problems, this sweeping history ranges from the present day to the time of Constantine the Great, the Urals to the Mediterranean and the Baltic, and emphasises culture and society, as well as politics and economics. In an additional new chapter Philip Longworth analyses the collapse of Communism and the advent of post-communism. This book will be of immense value to all who want to understand Eastern Europe's past and present.