A History of Twentieth-Century Russia

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9780674403482: A History of Twentieth-Century Russia

Russia has had an extraordinary history in the twentieth century. As the first Communist society, the USSR was both an admired model and an object of fear and hatred to the rest of the world.

How are we to make sense of this history? A History of Twentieth-Century Russia treats the years from 1917 to 1991 as a single period and analyzes the peculiar mixture of political, economic, and social ingredients that made up the Soviet formula. Under a succession of leaders from Lenin to Gorbachev, various methods were used to conserve and strengthen this compound. At times the emphasis was upon shaking up the ingredients, at others upon stabilization. All this occurred against a background of dictatorship, civil war, forcible industrialization, terror, world war, and the postwar arms race. Communist ideas and practices never fully pervaded the society of the USSR. Yet an impact was made and, as this book expertly documents, Russia since 1991 has encountered difficulties in completely eradicating the legacy of Communism.

A History of Twentieth-Century Russia is the first work to use the mass of material that has become available in the documentary collections, memoirs, and archives over the past decade. It is an extraordinarily lucid, masterful account of the most complex and turbulent period in Russia's long history.

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Review:

From the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 to the collapse of communism in 1991, from Lenin to Yeltsin, the history of Russia in the 20th century is a complex, tumultuous story of social, geographic, and political upheaval. Robert Service, a professor at the University of London's School of Slavonic and Eastern European studies, closely looks at this period in A History of Twentieth-Century Russia. Starting with the armed revolution between 1918 and 1921, Service examines the influence of Leninist philosophy on the Bolshevik movement, while at the same time analyzing the complex social dynamics taking place in the background. His intention is to understand the ingredients of "The Soviet Compound"--the synthesis of social and political Leninist techniques--and how it perpetuated the Soviet state for more than half a century.

Service is also keen to debunk the theory that it was merely fear and intimidation that explains the endurance of the state. He cites welfare reforms, education, and significant economic progress as a unifying force that brought a share of betterment into Russian society. Students of Russian history will find this book informative and surprisingly powerful, in particular, Service's narrative on the causes of the Soviet collapse, which he believes Gorbachev's radical social reforms brought about by inadvertently opening the door for dramatic change to take place. --Jeremy Storey

From the Back Cover:

In his fresh and lively survey of recent Russian history, Robert Service spans the whole era from the rise of communism in the first decade of this century to the aftermath of its collapse in 1991. It is far more than a comprehensive summary of the established facts, and provides an introduction to the results of Western and Russian research.-Economist

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Service, Robert
Editorial: Harvard University Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0674403487 ISBN 13: 9780674403482
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 2
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Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Harvard University Press, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110674403487

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Service, Robert
Editorial: Harvard University Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0674403487 ISBN 13: 9780674403482
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 2
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Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Harvard University Press, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New!. Nº de ref. de la librería VIB0674403487

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