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Post-Soviet Russia Hardcover – November 15, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (November 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231106068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231106061
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,033,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Russia's best-known contemporary historian comes to grips with his country in the aftermath of Communism, and he doesn't like what's been happening. Medvedev makes no bones about the fact that he thinks the path Yeltsin and the "democratic reformers" have followed these past eight years has been a disaster. He himself would have preferred the Russian government had been less dedicated to privatization and the market economy and bolstering the financial sector and instead had concentrated on rebuilding the country's industrial base and maintaining a favorable balance of trade. For Medvedev, the Unholy Three of Russia's economic disaster are Yeltsin, who oversaw it all; Yegor Gaidar, whom Medvedev seems particularly to despise and whose free-market policies resulted in simultaneous inflation and devaluation of the ruble; and Anatoly Chubais, the man behind the privatization giveaway that robbed a nation of its wealth. Medvedev certainly pulls no punches when discussing these three or incidents such as the 1993 confrontation between Yeltsin and the parliament and the 1998 crisis that resulted in further devaluation of the ruble. Frank Caso
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Medvedev recognizes that state socialism was not an appropriate economic model for Russia, and that radical economic reforms were necessary for Russia's economic development... He argues that the approach should have been gradual, taking into account the special characteristics of Russia's social and economic infrastructure.

(Amy Knight Times Literary Supplement)

Russia's best known contemporary historian comes to grips with his country in the aftermath of communism.


Shriver has assembled, and translated from the Russian, published and unpublished material by Medvedev, a Russian historian and political activist, describing and interpreting the interaction of political and economic forces in Russia from 1992 to 1999.

(M. Bornstein Choice)

A valuable contribution to our continuing effort to understand the beginnings of the new Russia.


Unlike the many superficial and tendentious compositions on the Russian book market devoted to chronicling the social and political life of the past few years, Medvedev's book stands out as an attempt to present an objective picture of Russia's turbulent 1990s... providing a much-needed and richly informed historical perspective on Russia's development.

(Alexander Chubarov History)

Medvedev's book is a first-rate political chronicle that will undoubtedly figure as one of the best accounts of the events described.

(Carlos Eduardo de Mendonca H-Net)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Roy Medvedev has proven himself a stubbornly independent observer of soviet, now Russian, policy for the past several decades. Given the extremes of Western anti-communism and anti-sovietism, I wanted a book without inbuilt bias, one that could take a level-headed look at the tumultuous events in Russia over the last fifteen years, particularly as they affected the average Russian who was the supposed beneficiary of these epochal changes. By and large, the book doesn't disappoint. Medvedev follows a rough timeline beginning in 1990 with a soviet regime in the throes of collapse and ending with Putin's unexpected ascension in 2000 to head of state and an uncertain future. The ten year interval can only be characterized as a series of incompetent failures, akin to comic opera were the consequences not so tragic for the average citizen. Medvedev does a good job of tracing the events and personalities involved in bringing about collapse of the nation's economy, particularly its financial arm. Perhaps the book's centerpiece, however, is an extended discussion of why Western style capitalism was doomed from the start as communism's successor. Here many factors, cultural, political, economic, come into play, creating an effective block to the one-style-fits-all prescriptions of Western shock therapists. All in all, it's a stimulating discussion with many insights into the country's current mess. I would have liked more attention to the pernicious role Russia's oligarchs played in beggaring the economy, and to the views of the average citizen on what was happening, but each remains a shadowy presence on a stage monopolized by politicians and economists. Still, Medvedev's amounts to an excellent reference for the serious reader looking to get past the headlines of the day.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Roy Medvedev is a dissident voice I pay attention to for analysis. His book about Russia after Gorbachev again is insightful and detailed. His prognosis of the Russian transition to capitalism (the protagonists in the drama of its return have many illusions nature of capitalism because of their dissolutionment with the Soviet experience.) Medvedev deftly offers a sober minded look at the Yeltsin to Putin political transition.
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