A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from St... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $27.95
  • Save: $12.95 (46%)
Rented from apex_media
To Rent, select Shipping State from options above
Due Date: Dec 23, 2014
FREE return shipping at the end of the semester. Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with rentals.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by apex_media
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships direct from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $25. Overnight and 2 day shipping available!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Add to Cart
Qty:1
  • List Price: $27.95
  • Save: $5.20 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $5.38
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (The New Cold War History) Paperback – February 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0807859582 ISBN-10: 0807859583 Edition: 2nd

Buy New
Price: $22.75
Rent
Price: $15.00
26 New from $20.00 41 Used from $12.70
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$22.75
$20.00 $12.70
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (The New Cold War History) + The Cold War: A New History
Price for both: $35.22

Buy the selected items together
  • The Cold War: A New History $12.47

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Series: The New Cold War History
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 2 edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807859583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807859582
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Impressive. . . . A standard work."--Osteuropa


"Fluently and authoritatively told."--International History Review


"[A Failed Empire] draw[s] on abundant new primary sources to refine our understanding of the Cold War, turning it from a melodrama into a nuanced tragedy. . . . Rich in new information and fresh interpretation. Zubok reveals the full extent of Stalin's brutal post-World War II suppression of the Soviet People."--Washington Post Book World


"Make[s] use of significant new primary sources but also offer[s]a more inclusive approach with respect to the considerations shaping policy on both sides."--American Historical Review


"Ranks as the new standard work on the Soviet Union's Cold War--for scholars and students alike. . . . An excellent combination of old and new, offering both a synthetic interpretation of Soviet foreign policy in the latter half of the twentieth century a

"An excellent survey of Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War, one which draws on a wide range of memoirs, secondary literature, and the still-patchy archival record."--Russian Review


"Zubok has been prominent amongst those reassessing Soviet foreign policy through the newly available primary sources. . . . [A Failed Empire] extends the story to the end of the Cold War and provides an excellent overview of the whole period."--
"This challenging account is perhaps the most complete and compelling yet written of the Soviet side of the Cold War."--Virginia Quarterly Review


"A fascinating and truly insightful study of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. . . . A valuable resource in understanding not only the history of the Soviet Union but the 20th century as a whole."--WHRW News


"The first work in English to cover the entire Cold War from the Soviet side . . . provides a history different from those written by the Western victors."--Ventunesimo Secolo


"A significant contribution to a field that has long been dominated by West-centric analyses. . . . Highly recommended."--CHOICE


"Zubok's book has established an important marker by which future historical studies will be measured."--Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews


"Zubok has taken on a huge challenge in attempting to narrate the entire evolution of the Cold War from the perspective of the apex of power in Moscow. He succeeds admirably. . . . This is a book that can be read by the specialist and generalist alike. .

Book Description

"This book is the best history we have of the Soviet side of the Cold War. Far more than a survey, Zubok's analysis is based on cutting-edge historical scholarship. He makes use of the most recently available sources and brings to their interpretation an unusually sharp mind."--William Taubman, Amherst College

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
17
4 star
3
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 21 customer reviews
Zubok's book is a valuable window into perspectives on the rise and fall of the USSR.
Amrit
Judicious and fair, and drawing on much new information from the archives, one gets a sense that this will be the definitive work for some time.
D. Macdonald
If you enjoy reading about the cold war, or just enjoy reading about Russian history and politics, then this book is a must read.
RK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Sergey Radchenko on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book - a coherent, persuasive and well-written overview of the Soviet side of the Cold War. Zubok resurrects the "revolutionary-imperial paradigm" of his (and Pleshakov's) earlier book and extends it to the 1980s. The Soviet leaders, he argues, were motivated both by dreams of imperial aggrandizement and messianic revolutionary zeal. The thesis is well-made. I think on the whole Zubok's book chips away at the "revolutionary" part of the paradigm: the Soviet policy makers come across as rather cynical political operators, who carefully or sometimes unconsciously used ideological platitudes in pursuit of realpolitik aims. But that's just my reading of Zubok's own evidence. The book stands on familiar ground with regard to Stalin and Khrushchev; it does offer a remarkably vivid account of the Brezhnev and Gorbachev years. Brezhnev, dismissed in anecdotes as a senile fool manipulated by grey cardinals in his entourage, comes across as a real statesman, a peacemaker. Zubok's portrait of Gorbachev penetrates beyond the facade of naive idealism, revealing some of the layered complexity of the Gorbachev phenomenon. This is a must-read for anyone interested in post-war Soviet history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amrit on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The collapse of the USSR is one of the most important events of the twentieth century. During its existence after 1917 until 1991, the USSR stood at the centre of world politics - especially after 1945. It embodied many of the important aspects of modern history including socialism (which it embodied in its Marxist-Leninist form), State-led industrialisation and development (which it pioneered), technologically driven change (the Soviets took an early lead in the space race) and the State as a provider of welfare (of which the USSR was an early practitioner). The end of the USSR also meant the end of a key defining feature of the twentieth century. This was the case not only for those in the Soviet sphere but also for those outside it who defined themselves as the opposite of the USSR, notably American capitalist democracy.

Zubok's book is a "must read" for any one interested why the Soviet Union came to its sudden end. The conventional Western view is that during the Reagan-Thatcher era, the US commenced an arms race in order to exhaust and bring down the USSR. This worked. Unable to keep up, the Soviets simply threw in the towel and gave up. While plausible on the surface, this explanation opens as many questions as it answers. After 1945 the USSR though a victor in the Second World War, lay exhausted and devastated. The difference in Soviet capabilities and those of the US at that time was much greater than at the point of the dissolution of the USSR. Nevertheless, the USSR stared down the Americans, within two decades had narrowed the gap and set itself up as a seemingly viable alternative superpower, forcing the US to deal with it as its equal.
Read more ›
16 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By AT1988 on March 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was originally expecting a run of the mill history of the Soviet Union, but I, like most prospective readers, was pleasantly surprised. The detail in which Zubok elaborates on his research gives the reader a true insight into Stalin's moves on the diplomatic chessboard, Krushchev's brinkmanship, Brezhnev's indiscipline, Gorbachev's attempt to liberalize the USSR, which inadvertently and ultimately brought it down, as a system based on oppression cannot stand once the masses have their say. However, the inclusion of original research enriches the experience, which allows the reader to truly understand the symbiosis between the KGB and the Politburo, and understand how such a system lasted for so long. A must read for those not looking for a thousand page volume on Stalin, but for a brief but highly detailed history of the former Evil Empire.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. Macdonald on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent overview of Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War. Judicious and fair, and drawing on much new information from the archives, one gets a sense that this will be the definitive work for some time. The only criticism I have is that I wish the author had dealt with the Sino-Soviet split in more depth. It is here, but only episodically brought in to the narrative. But all and all a great book and a fine read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By fatandhappy on November 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If one desires to understand events as they transpired in any historical event, the necessity of reviewing both parties to a conflict becomes of particular import, and in the case of Vladislav Zubok's book A Failed Empire, the "other" side, the Soviet Union, is thoroughly analyzed from the inside in this pursuit. The result of Zubok's careful review of primary sources, from the memoirs and diaries of many participants, to the actual transcripts of meetings as they occurred in the halls of power, is a wide-ranging and informative description of Soviet perspectives and ideology, and how these positions informed the events of the Cold War.

The overriding theme that the author tackles in his careful analysis of the conflict between the USSR and the US is one that involves a "revolutionary-imperial paradigm", meaning that, whatever the ideology of revolutionary zeal that spawned and maintained the Soviets, they were also an empire that wished to bring other nationalities and regions under their control, either for the purpose of security--as was the case with the occupation of Eastern and Central Europe--or to pursue its goal of eventual communistic overthrow where it was deemed possible for the revolution to take root, as in Cuba or Ethiopia. This idea of a nation that saw itself as an antidote to the history of capitalistic imperialism, but ironically acted in the same way to translate its own ideology into power, is a clever and revealing point to be understood about the Soviets, because it casts them in a light of following the same self-interest as the enemy they so effectively denounced.

When viewing the different stages of the evolution of the USSR, Zubok makes some revealing points about each stage of its development.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?