With the Polish crisis very much alive after more than a year, Singer's book allows readers to pause and reflect on the situation. He presents three essays linked by their focus on pressures for change in Eastern Europe.
The first asserts that solzhenitsyn was a "reactionary romantic" and "false prophet" driven to seek solutions in the past. The second argues that conditions are ripening in the Soviet Union for the emergence of a progressive socialist opposition. The third uses the Polish situation to exemplify how workers may suddenly enter the political arena and significantly influence it in a short time. The question of whether Poland is an exception to the rule of the Soviet bloc or a pioneer is ex plored in detail.