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A series of democratic transformations in the 1980s ended the cold war and ushered in the present era. This volume by Padraic Kenney uses six case studies from this period Poland, the Philippines, Chile, South Africa, Ukraine, and China to explore common characteristics of global political change while highlighting the differing strategies and perspectives of the people who sought to free themselves from dictatorship. A general introduction to the volume examines key trends in the decades leading up to the changes, tracing the paths that dictatorships and opposition movements took in their fateful confrontations. The first chapter with documents surveys the central ideas of this age of democratic, nonviolent revolution, and sets a framework for considering the case studies in the chapters that follow. The documents in each case study give voice to celebrated and uncelebrated participants alike from Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev to Chinese hunger strikers and an ordinary Filipino activist and provide students with an opportunity to compare histories. Photographs, document headnotes, a chronology, questions to consider, and a selected bibliography aid students understanding of this transformative period.
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