"The three so-called 'Baltic states' -- Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania -- are commonly regarded by outsiders as a single entity. But in reality they are quite distinct countries, each one struggling to find its own place within Europe while preserving a personal identity and local traditions. 'Baltic Facades' presents a radical new reading of these states, with a fresh and up-to-date examination of their individual politics, economics and social and cultural trends. By dispelling the myth of a single, coherent Baltic identity, Aldis Purs is able to take account of the uiniqueness of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, while examining the anxities that their peoples feel about their own identities and how others see them. Giving equal weight in developments in politics, economics, and social and cultural trends. Purs develops a thematic framework that places contemporary events in a longer perspective than traditional Cold War-inspired views of the region. His book will appeal in particular to intellectually curious readers, those who seek an account of the Baltic nations that provides a strong sense of place and reaches beyond the restrictions of traditional political history"--Publisher's description, back cover.