Wydanie: Lublin 2011
The article presents the American view on East-Central Europe from the post-war period to the region’s great historic breakthrough which undoubtedly was the collapse of Communism in 1989 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union two years later. The analysis of American Slavic periodicals has proven that for almost half a century the region was of no particular interest for English speaking academics. Ignoring the Central European themes on American ground derived to a great extent from the specificity of Slavonic studies in the United States, the basic shape of which was created by Russian emigrants before the Second World War. The research on East-Central Europe, being part of the Slavic studies, was therefore dominated by specialists coming from Russia and thus in fact initially came down to the academic field called Russian/Soviet studies, which in turn led to the Russian perspective of looking at the history of the whole region of Central Eastern Europe. Despite the efforts of such historians as for example Oscar Halecki who as early as in the 1950s tried to overcome the Russian mainstream view, there was little interest in the East-Central European issues. The discussion taken by intellectuals (Kundera, Konrad, Miłosz) in the 1980s influenced the increase in popularity of the idea of East-Central Europe in the West. The groundbreaking events of 1989 resulted in the growth of interest in the region, which however turned out to be a short-lived phenomenon. In the following years the situation returned to the previous state when the Russian issues dominated American Slavic periodicals.