Steeltown, USSR: Soviet Society in the Gorbachev Era

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9780520073548: Steeltown, USSR: Soviet Society in the Gorbachev Era

No one, not even Mikhail Gorbachev, anticipated what was in store when the Soviet Union embarked in the 1980s on a radical course of long-overdue structural reform. The consequences of that momentous decision, which set in motion a transformation eventually affecting the entire postwar world order, are here chronicled from inside a previously forbidden Soviet city, Magnitogorsk. Built under Stalin and championed by him as a showcase of socialism, the city remained closed to Western scrutiny until four years ago, when Stephen Kotkin became the first American to live there in nearly half a century.

An uncommonly perceptive observer, a gifted writer, and a first-rate social scientist, Kotkin offers the reader an unsurpassed portrait of daily life in the Gorbachev era. From the formation of "informal" political groups to the start-up of fledgling businesses in the new cooperative sector, from the no-holds-barred investigative reporting of a former Communist party mouthpiece to a freewheeling multicandidate election campaign, the author conveys the texture of contemporary Soviet society in the throes of an upheaval not seen since the 1930s.

Magnitogorsk, a planned "garden city" in the Ural Mountains, serves as Kotkin's laboratory for observing the revolutionary changes occurring in the Soviet Union today. Dominated by a self-perpetuating Communist party machine, choked by industrial pollution, and haunted by a suppressed past, this once-proud city now faces an uncertain future, as do the more than one thousand other industrial cities throughout the Soviet Union.

Kotkin made his remarkable first visit in 1987 and returned in 1989. On both occasions, steelworkers and schoolteachers, bus drivers and housewives, intellectuals and former victims of oppression—all willingly stepped forward to voice long-suppressed grievances and aspirations. Their words animate this moving narrative, the first to examine the impact and contradictions of perestroika in a single community. Like no other Soviet city, Magnitogorsk provides a window onto the desperate struggle to overcome the heavy burden of Stalin's legacy.

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About the Author:

Stephen Kotkin is Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University.

From Library Journal:

Closed to Western observers until the early 1980s, Magnitogorsk, a steel production center built during Stalin's industrialization of the 1930s, embodies much of Communism's ideology as well as the Soviet people's hopes for a better future. While conducting historical research in 1987, Kotkin was allowed to live for two months in that city. In April 1989 he returned for another brief stay. During his two visits he met with various residents, including both members of the party and those opposed to its rule, and he records their commentary on life in the Soviet Union and on the upheavals wracking their country. Often recounted in the residents' own words, these micro-level reviews of perestroika and glasnost reveal a disillusioned people beset by confusion and despair as they confront the challenges of an aging industrial plant, the ravages of pollution, and a moribund economy. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.
-James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción University of California Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 364 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 1.0in.No one, not even Mikhail Gorbachev, anticipated what was in store when the Soviet Union embarked in the 1980s on a radical course of long-overdue structural reform. The consequences of that momentous decision, which set in motion a transformation eventually affecting the entire postwar world order, are here chronicled from inside a previously forbidden Soviet city, Magnitogorsk. Built under Stalin and championed by him as a showcase of socialism, the city remained closed to Western scrutiny until four years ago, when Stephen Kotkin became the first American to live there in nearly half a century. An uncommonly perceptive observer, a gifted writer, and a first-rate social scientist, Kotkin offers the reader an unsurpassed portrait of daily life in the Gorbachev era. From the formation of informal political groups to the start-up of fledgling businesses in the new cooperative sector, from the no-holds-barred investigative reporting of a former Communist party mouthpiece to a freewheeling multicandidate election campaign, the author conveys the texture of contemporary Soviet society in the throes of an upheaval not seen since the 1930s. Magnitogorsk, a planned garden city in the Ural Mountains, serves as Kotkins laboratory for observing the revolutionary changes occurring in the Soviet Union today. Dominated by a self-perpetuating Communist party machine, choked by industrial pollution, and haunted by a suppressed past, this once-proud city now faces an uncertain future, as do the more than one thousand other industrial cities throughout the Soviet Union. Kotkin made his remarkable first visit in 1987 and returned in 1989. On both occasions, steelworkers and schoolteachers, bus drivers and housewives, intellectuals and former victims of oppressionall willingly stepped forward to voice long-suppressed grievances and aspirations. Their words animate this moving narrative, the first to examine the impact and contradictions of perestroika in a single community. Like no other Soviet city, Magnitogorsk provides a window onto the desperate struggle to overcome the heavy burden of Stalins legacy. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780520073548

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Descripción University of California Press, United States, 1992. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.No one, not even Mikhail Gorbachev, anticipated what was in store when the Soviet Union embarked in the 1980s on a radical course of long-overdue structural reform. The consequences of that momentous decision, which set in motion a transformation eventually affecting the entire postwar world order, are here chronicled from inside a previously forbidden Soviet city, Magnitogorsk. Built under Stalin and championed by him as a showcase of socialism, the city remained closed to Western scrutiny until four years ago, when Stephen Kotkin became the first American to live there in nearly half a century. An uncommonly perceptive observer, a gifted writer, and a first-rate social scientist, Kotkin offers the reader an unsurpassed portrait of daily life in the Gorbachev era. From the formation of informal political groups to the start-up of fledgling businesses in the new cooperative sector, from the no-holds-barred investigative reporting of a former Communist party mouthpiece to a freewheeling multicandidate election campaign, the author conveys the texture of contemporary Soviet society in the throes of an upheaval not seen since the 1930s. Magnitogorsk, a planned garden city in the Ural Mountains, serves as Kotkin s laboratory for observing the revolutionary changes occurring in the Soviet Union today. Dominated by a self-perpetuating Communist party machine, choked by industrial pollution, and haunted by a suppressed past, this once-proud city now faces an uncertain future, as do the more than one thousand other industrial cities throughout the Soviet Union. Kotkin made his remarkable first visit in 1987 and returned in 1989. On both occasions, steelworkers and schoolteachers, bus drivers and housewives, intellectuals and former victims of oppression - all willingly stepped forward to voice long-suppressed grievances and aspirations. Their words animate this moving narrative, the first to examine the impact and contradictions of perestroika in a single community. Like no other Soviet city, Magnitogorsk provides a window onto the desperate struggle to overcome the heavy burden of Stalin s legacy. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780520073548

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Descripción University of California Press, United States, 1992. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. No one, not even Mikhail Gorbachev, anticipated what was in store when the Soviet Union embarked in the 1980s on a radical course of long-overdue structural reform. The consequences of that momentous decision, which set in motion a transformation eventually affecting the entire postwar world order, are here chronicled from inside a previously forbidden Soviet city, Magnitogorsk. Built under Stalin and championed by him as a showcase of socialism, the city remained closed to Western scrutiny until four years ago, when Stephen Kotkin became the first American to live there in nearly half a century. An uncommonly perceptive observer, a gifted writer, and a first-rate social scientist, Kotkin offers the reader an unsurpassed portrait of daily life in the Gorbachev era. From the formation of informal political groups to the start-up of fledgling businesses in the new cooperative sector, from the no-holds-barred investigative reporting of a former Communist party mouthpiece to a freewheeling multicandidate election campaign, the author conveys the texture of contemporary Soviet society in the throes of an upheaval not seen since the 1930s. Magnitogorsk, a planned garden city in the Ural Mountains, serves as Kotkin s laboratory for observing the revolutionary changes occurring in the Soviet Union today. Dominated by a self-perpetuating Communist party machine, choked by industrial pollution, and haunted by a suppressed past, this once-proud city now faces an uncertain future, as do the more than one thousand other industrial cities throughout the Soviet Union. Kotkin made his remarkable first visit in 1987 and returned in 1989. On both occasions, steelworkers and schoolteachers, bus drivers and housewives, intellectuals and former victims of oppression - all willingly stepped forward to voice long-suppressed grievances and aspirations. Their words animate this moving narrative, the first to examine the impact and contradictions of perestroika in a single community. Like no other Soviet city, Magnitogorsk provides a window onto the desperate struggle to overcome the heavy burden of Stalin s legacy. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780520073548

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