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The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire (Studies in Contemporary History) Paperback – December 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Contemporary History
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (December 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312174071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312174071
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,030,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Its lively style and straightforward approach to a complicated subject will make it readily comprehensible to undergraduates." --Slavic and East European Journal
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Raymond Pearson is Professor of Modern European History, University of Ulster at Coleraine.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dan tdaxp on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book actually is about two empires -- the "Inner Empire" of the Soviet Union and the "Outer Empire" of the Soviet Bloc. The book is exceedingly well written and hard to put down. Though it ignores broad swaths of Soviet history (military confrontation with the west, relationship with China, etc), it admits that it doesn't tell all, and, more importantly, tells what it does very clearly.
The crisises of 1956, 1968, and 1980 are examined in detail, and throughout humor is used to get the point across (such at the Kiti-Kat fiasco, and contemporary Soviet and Eastern European jokes about the regime).
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on August 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire traces the creation, expansion, maintenance and eventual demise of the Soviet Empire, one of history's greatest tyrranies, from 1945 to 1991.
He describes how the Soviet empire was indeed an imperialist venture (making it all the more absurd how Communists and their fellow travellers refer to the democratic West as 'imperialists').
The author describes the conflict between the forces of nationalism and freedom on the one hand against those of Communist imperialism on the other.
Indeed if you are truly against imperialism you will support nationalism and the nation-state.
The book refers to how East European independence was jointly obliterated by the Nazi and Soviet empires. About the Communist tactics of subjugating Eastern Europe to Communist tyrany after World War II, and the shameful British and American aquiescence in this (so soon after British appeasement of Hitler at Munich, 1938).
As the book traces the development of Stalinist and neo-Stalinist tyranny, we learn of internal Soviet political and economic developments, and the movements of nationalism and liberalism crushed by the Soviets over decades, before their eventual triumph over Communist despotism in 1989-1991.
Key points covered include the conflict between Yugoslav leader Tito and Stalin in the late 1940's and early 50's.
The brutal and bloody Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush nascent pro-democracy movements there.
25 000 Hungarians died in the Soviet invasion and crackdown of 1956.
Then we read of the dishonourable appeasement of Soviet tyranny by the West at Helsinki, 1975, and the crushing of Solidarity and the pro-democracy movement in Poland in 1981.
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