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Roads to the Temple: Truth, Memory, Ideas, and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987-1991 Hardcover – June 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (June 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300118449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300118445
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 “Leon Aron has written a book about the moral foundation of perestroika and the colossal reassessment of values, which brought about an unprecedented and, for many, unexpected shift in Russian history. These were the years when we tried to bring together politics and morality. Today, when Russia is again facing a crucial choice, it is very important to remember that time and the people who moved forward this difficult but necessary process of intellectual and then political transformation.”—Mikhail Gorbachev

(Mikhail Gorbachev)

“This is an outstanding work. No such extraordinary work on the ideas of perestroika and glasnost will be written.”—Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
(Anders �slund)

“Human beings forget luminescent moments when the pursuit of human dignity lights up our world. Leon Aron does not allow us to forget the remarkable Soviet revolution of 1987-1991, a moment of moral clarity increasingly submerged in a miasma of deception.”—Blair Ruble, Director, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center (Blair Ruble)

“From America's most insightful chronicler of Russian affairs comes a vividly drawn portrait of a country coming awake. Both erudite and gripping, passionate and yet rigorous, Roads to the Temple is a masterpiece of cultural and intellectual history.”—Daniel Treisman, author of The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev (Daniel Treisman)

“Leon Aron's book is an indispensible guide to the forces that shaped Russia's years of glasnost and revolution, a work of intellectual history that is brimming with fresh insights and points the way to the great challenges facing Russian democracy today.”—David E. Hoffman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy
(David E. Hoffman)

“Leon Aron’s wonderful, passionate book provides the fullest and most detailed portrait yet of the ideas and ideals that inspired the Russian Revolution of 1987-1991.”—William Taubman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era.
(William Taubman)

"Scholars will forever disagree about what caused the great revolutions. But from now on anyone who tries to explain the fall of Soviet communism will have to read, and reckon with, Roads to the Temple. An extraordinary book."—Stephen Sestanovich, U.S. ambassador-at-large for the former Soviet Union, 1997-2001
(Stephen Sestanovich)

“Mr. Aron …brings this history of Russian journalism to life with a fine attention to detail and a bold narrative sweep….Though far freer than it was in the Soviet ice age, Russian journalism lacks the sparkle, passion and integrity that it displayed in the vibrant era that Mr. Aron describes so well.”—Edward Lucas, Wall Street Journal



(Edward Lucas Wall Street Journal)

“Delight and despair jostle in the mind when reading Leon Aron's masterly survey of the greatest period of Russian-language journalism…The delight is in the intoxicating evocation of freedom unleashed…Those who had been muzzled and misinformed for decades could suddenly find the truth and speak it. The despair lies in what came before and afterward.”—Edward Lucas, Wall Street Journal
(Edward Lucas Wall Street Journal)

"It is hard to think of any other volume that provides as much information and insight into the nature of the Soviet system and its collapse as this book...Aron presents a richly documented and riveting portrait of every aspect of the Soviet system... Exceptionally enlightening and well-written."—Washington Times
(Washington Times)

"Leon Aron’s book, a genuine tour de force, is a fascinating chronicle of the main ideas that caused and inspired the revolutionary upheaval in the USSR."—International Affairs

(International Affairs)

“Magisterial, beautifully written… [Aron’s] deeply researched and lyrical exploration of glasnost and the public debate it liberated is a testament to a national hunger for moral regeneration after decades of vicious tyranny and then mendacious and self-indulgent oligarchy.”—Mark Galeotti, Slavic Review
(Mark Galeotti Slavic Review)

"A genuine tour de force...A fascinating chronicle of the main ideas that caused and inspired the revolutionary upheaval in the USSR."—Vladimir Tismaneanu, Frontpage
(Vladimir Tismaneanu Frontpage)

About the Author

Leon Aron is Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He is the author of Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life and Russia's Revolution: Essays, 1989–2006.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alvin H. Weiss on August 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author must have read everything ever published in The USSR from 1987 - 2001. And the citations are part of the text rather than footnotes. This interferes with smooth reading. He also uses the English alphabet for Russian words, which is very distracting if you know Russian and totally unnecessary if you don't. He has a flowery description technique and is also a bit repetitive. You get an idea of the emotional changes during the collapse of the USSR. He gives a good picture of Stalin's atrocities and the unfairness of the Communist sytem all the way until its end. But there is not a good description of the developing new government system.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By robert spitalnick on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I purchased it because of a favorable review, not sure what to expect. Leon Aron presents the cultural and social history of the recent Russian revolution in the words of the participants. This "soul-searching" in journals and literature provides a window into the collective psyche of the Russian people as they grappled with their roles in the Soviet era. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Poorly researched and heavily biased. Mr. Aron displays his ignorance by presenting certain limited facts while ignoring others. The linkages among the quotes and ideologies may be made for any world leader. Mr Aron would be better served writing for a tabloid.
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