The collapse of the Soviet Union figures among the important events of the latter half of the century. David Satter, a reporter in Moscow for the Financial Times of London from 1976 to 1982, recorded with great detail the failings of the Soviet Union during the time and has cast those failings into a telling postmortem on the Communist state. The bulk of his material comes in the form of vignettes from people who suffered through the iron rule and the oppression and bleakness it fostered. Their stories provide personal insights as to why the empire collapsed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Drawing on two decades of reporting from the Soviet Union for the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times of London, Satter's riveting montage takes us inside KGB interrogation cells, factories sabotaged by theft, collective farms awash in vodka, labor camps where a prisoner's slightest protest brings slow starvation in an isolation cell, psychiatric hospitals stuffed with political dissenters who are force-fed psychoactive drugs and tortured. By jump-cutting between historic events-the abortive 1991 coup against Gorbachev; the breakaway by the Baltic republics and Ukraine; the coal miners' strike of 1989-1990; the storming of the Russian parliament by Yeltsin's troops in 1993, which left 150 dead-and the struggles of ordinary Soviet citizens to survive in a society built on official lies and illusions, Satter provides an astonishingly intimate look at the unraveling of the Soviet system on a personal as well as a political level. We meet daring illegal border-crossers, refuseniks who won't rat on Anatoly Shcharansky for the KGB, fanatic right-wing nationalists and whistle-blowers with grievances against their workers' collectives who are thwarted by a kafkaesque maze of Moscow agencies that sidetrack their complaints. Satter also chronicles Russia's religious revival and the alarming rise of extremist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A readable account of individuals' lives in late Soviet Russia: mostly stories from the common man. A readable font and definitely not a densely written reference work. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matthew J. Brennan
the Great Russian Plain
This Anglosenryu (Anglohaiku) came into being after I read Mr. Read more
David Satter is not a historian and this book is not a history nor does it claim to be. David is a journalist who lived and worked in Russia for 18 years, speaks Russian as well. Read morePublished on October 2, 2012 by J. Kelly-Moore
I could not put this book down and am happy to report that it is one of the finest books about Russia ever written. Read morePublished on July 12, 2003 by Christiana Washington
Before the Soviet Union collapsed, any number of so-called Soviet "experts" wrote nonsense about what was happening in that country. David Satter was a notable exception. Read morePublished on January 5, 2003
This book attempts to chronicle the last ten or so years of the Soviet Union through vignettes that illustrate people's struggles with a dying system. Read morePublished on January 24, 2002 by shaneb