Since this is probably not a subject many Americans will be interested in, I don't expect many (any?) people to review this book. Because of this I'm going to write a short Amazon review, even though I never have before, simply because I want people who might be interested in Cars of Easter Europe to know that this is probably the most incredibly thorough book that will ever be written on the subject. I originally wanted a book specifically about Zastiva, and couldn't find a decent one in English. I bought this one because I knew it would have some Zastiva stuff, and I'm very glad. It is HUGE, has loads of pictures, many of which are color. Because these cars were very much a product of the sociopolitical climate they grew from, this book is as much of a story about the cars as it is about the people that produced them.
What we know as "Eastern Europe" is divided into geographical regions, and then by manufacturer. Exact descriptions of fundamental designs. trim levels, year-to-year changes, production numbers, and more are given for nearly every car. The book includes high quality pictures of one-off prototypes, sales brochures, etc that you simply aren't going to dig up in a Google image search. In fact, this book is a great example of how, even with nearly infinite, free information online, professionally produced books are still very relevant.
Once you know the stories behind these cars, the people that made them, and the challenges they faced try to keep the Eastern Bloc mobile, its impossible to not be moved by their innovation, devotion, and determination. While the cars themselves are usually pretty terrible by American standards, they excelled in meeting the needs of the working class in less affluent countries. While car makers from the US, the UK, and other rich countries essentially tried to outdo each other by making bigger, faster, more opulent and wasteful vehicles, companies like Skoda, Zastiva, and Watburg emphasized fuel economy, ease of service, and low production cost. Because of this the two stroke plastic econoboxes often kept on going long after Cadillacs , Jags, and BMWs were sent to the junkyard because their complex automatic transmissions or ECUs have failed, often costing more to repair than the street value of the car.
If you have any interest in this subject at all, get this book. I'm so impressed that I'm already planning on purchasing other Haynes books. They clearly know how to cover a subject to utmost completion.