1956 was one of the most remarkable years of the twentieth century. All across the globe, ordinary people spoke out, filled the streets and city squares, and took up arms in an attempt to win their freedom. In this dramatic history, Simon Hall takes the long view of the year’s events—putting them in their post-war context and looking toward their influence on the counterculture movements of the 1960s—to tell the story of the year’s epic, global struggles from the point of view of the freedom fighters, dissidents, and countless ordinary people who worked to overturn oppressive and authoritarian systems in order to build a brave new world. It was an epic contest. 1956 is the first narrative history of the year as a whole—and the first to frame its tumultuous events as part of an interconnected, global story of revolution.