Course will survey the rise and fall of an ideologically grounded dictatorship in Hungary and the first ten years of the country`s transition to democracy in a regional context. The first segment of the course will deal with the gradual introduction of a Stalinist dictatorship and the extension of Soviet domination to Hungary in the context of the onset of the Cold War. Then we shall examine the nature of a communist dictatorship with special reference to the political structure, the central command economy, military policies, Stalinist terror and the anatomy of show trials. A section of the course will deal with the political, international and social history of the 1956 revolution. Going on to Janos Kadar`s dictatorship, class will talk about the role of ideology and pragmatism in domstic politics, cultural policies, foreign policy and the economy, the social structure and every day life of an allegedly exploitation free and classless society. We shall seek to discuss whether the communist experiment in Hungary and Eastern Europe can be interpreted as a short cut to modernization, catching up with the West in the periphery. The last segment of the course will discuss the causes of the collapse of communism, the domestic and foreign events leading up to the miracle year of 1989 and will discuss whether collapse was unavoidable. Finally class will look at the political, economic and social aspects of the road to democracy and market economy and will conclude with a snapshot of where Hungary stands today. We shall be interested in discussing the human experience of a dictatorship vis a vis a democracy: value judgements, moral choices that individuals face or are not faced with in either political system. Concepts explored will include democracy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, communism, imperialism, state terror, revolution, sovereignty, law and morality.