Kratka, Lenka

A History of the Czechoslovak Ocean Shipping Company, 1948-1989

How a Small, Landlocked Country Ran Maritime Business During the Cold War

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SPPS 146

This book offers a comprehensive history of the Czechoslovak Ocean Shipping Company (C. O. S.) from its beginning in the late 1940s until the fall of communism. Owned by the Czechoslovak state, C. O. S.'s activities were shaped by Soviet standards. This unique study is structured according to the different phases of the Cold War and highlights the political aspects that determined C. O. S.'s fate.
Lenka Kratka focuses on two contradictory economic dimensions that C. O. S. had to engage with. Being part of the planned economy of a socialist state, it also dealt with companies in the capitalist West. Another paradoxical aspect of C. O. S. emerges from the memories of former Czechoslovak seamen, who experienced relative freedom when being aboard and strict communist regime control while at home with their families. Kratka's book offers fascinating insights into a neglected topic, using thus far untapped sources and building on primary research in oral history and personal memory.

296 Seiten, Paperback. 2015
ISBN 978-3-8382-0666-0

Stimmen zum Buch:

“Lenka Kratka offers a remarkable, comprehensive piece of work on the history of the Czechoslovak Ocean Shipping (C.O.S.) company. She writes with talent and erudition.”

Prof. Miroslav Vaněk, Head, Oral History Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague

“Lenka Kratka’s book opens the Iron Curtain to explore the reality of Czechoslovakia’s Ocean Shipping. Seamen have always been linked to legends and stereotypes. This book enables the reader to understand what is truth and what is just nice fiction. A particularly interesting and fascinating part in the book is devoted to life-stories of seafarers. It is highly recommended to all travellers and dreamers but at the same time has an incredible value for academic researchers in history.”
Dr. Kristine Ante, Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Latvia, Riga

"Not only does Kratka’s study reveal new, interesting insights into the development of Communist shipping, it can also serve as a remarkable contrast to developments in Western shipping companies during the period. For these reasons, the book is highly recommended to maritime historians with an interest in twentieth-century shipping, both from business, policy and labour perspectives."
René Taudal Poulsen, The International Journal of Maritime History (IJMH) Review, Vol. 28(4)


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