Eastern Europe Now, the Hangover

As the celebrations of freedom die down, the countries of Eastern Europe grapple with the sobering task of rebuilding their societies

On New Year's Eve in Prague, a city intoxicated with a sense of liberation, the cobblestones of Wenceslas Square were drenched with champagne. On New Year's Day, the city and all of Czechoslovakia started to sober up. "For 40 years you have heard on this day from the mouths of my predecessors . . . how our country is flourishing, how many more millions of tons of steel we have produced, how we are all happy, how we believe in our government," the newly elected President Vaclav Havel told the nation. "I assume you have not named me to this office...