On Christmas Day, 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation to declare an American victory in the Cold War: earlier that day Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned as the first and last Soviet president. The enshrining of that narrative, one in which the end of the Cold War was linked to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the triumph of democratic values over communism, took center stage in American public discourse immediately after Bush's speech and has persisted for decades—with disastrous consequences for American standing in the world. As prize-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals in The Last Empire, the collapse of the Soviet Union was anything but the handiwork of th...
The Baltic States are unique in being the only member-states of the EU to have fought to regain their sovereignty from the Soviet Union, only then to cede it to Brussels in certain key areas. Similarly, no member-states have had to struggle as hard as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to preserve their identity after fifty years of Soviet nationality policy in the face of sub-state and supra-state challenges. The post-communist experience of the Baltic States thus allows us to examine debates about identity as a source of political power; the conditioning and constraining influence of identity discourses on social, political and economic change; and the orientation and outcome of their external ...
The main focus of this book is Jewish life under the Soviet regime. The themes of the book include: the attitude of the government to Jews, the fate of the Jewish religion and life in Post-World War II Russia. The volume also contains an assessment of the prospects for future emigration.
The history of the Soviet Union has been charted in several studies over the decades. However, earlier examinations have failed to draw attention to the political and academic environment within which these histories were composed. Identifying the significant hallmarks of the production of Soviet history by Soviet as well as Western historians, this book attempts to fill this gap. It shows how the Russian Revolution of 1917 triggered a shift in official policy towards historians and the publication of history textbooks for schools and surveys the rich body of writing the Russian Revolution generated as well as the divergent approaches to the history of the period. The conditions for research in Soviet archives are described as an aspect of official monitoring of history writing, which continues to this day.
Examines what daily life was like for ordinary people in the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991, discussing government and law, the military, economy, class structure, housing, education, health care, the arts, religion, and other topics.
By the 1980s the Soviet scientific establishment had become the largest in the world, but very little of its history was known in the West. What has been needed for many years in order to fill that gap in our knowledge is a history of Russian and Soviet science written for the educated person who would like to read one book on the subject. This book has been written for that reader. The history of Russian and Soviet science is a story of remarkable achievements and frustrating failures. That history is presented here in a comprehensive form, and explained in terms of its social and political context. Major sections include the tsarist period, the impact of the Russian Revolution, the relationship between science and Soviet society, and the strengths and weaknesses of individual scientific disciplines. The book also discusses the changes brought to science in Russia and other republics by the collapse of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Church-state relations have undergone a number of changes during the seven decades of the existence of the Soviet Union. In the 1920s the state was politically and financially weak and its edicts often ignored, but the 1930s saw the beginning of an era of systematic anti-religious persecution. There was some relaxation in the last decade of Stalin's rule, but under Khrushchev the pressure on the Church was again stepped up. In the Brezhev period this was moderated to a policy of slow strangulation of religion, and Gorbachev's leadership saw a thorough liberalization and re-legitimation of religion. This 1992 book brings together fifteen of the West's leading scholars of religion in the USSR. Bringing much hitherto unknown material to light, the authors discuss the policy apparatus, programmes of atheisation and socialisation, cults and sects, and the world of Christianity.