"Security Empire" by Molly Pucci

Security Empire The Secret Police in Communist Eastern Europe Molly Pucci

Yale-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes
Publication date:
11 Aug 2020
Yale University Press
384 pages: 235 x 156mm
16 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

This book examines the history of early secret police forces in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War. Molly Pucci delves into the ways their origins diverged from the original Soviet model based on differing interpretations of communism and local histories, and illuminates the difference between veteran agents who fought in foreign wars and younger, more radical agents who combatted “enemies of communism” in the Stalinist terror in Eastern Europe.

Molly Pucci is assistant professor of twentieth century European history at Trinity College Dublin. She was a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute. Her PhD dissertation was awarded the Radomír Luža Prize in Central European History in 2015.

Security Empire presents a original and compelling picture of the Communist secret police. The book has neither heroes nor villains but instead reveals the very real people, with their attendant strengths, faults, and foibles, behind the mysterious and supposedly omniscient secret police.” — Melissa Feinberg, Rutgers University

“Molly Pucci has managed the remarkable feat of choosing one of the most prominent topics in the field, and then producing a synoptic, cross-national account of the scope and scale that scholars and students have needed for decades, but that no one has dared (or been willing to put in the time) to produce.”— Piotr H. Kosicki, University of Maryland at College Park