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The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union (Routledge Sources in History) Paperback – August 19, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0415122900 ISBN-10: 0415122902 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Sources in History
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (August 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415122902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415122900
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

When dealing with so vast a subject as the history of the Soviet Union, it is a formidable challenge indeed and Sakwa accomplishes it brilliantly.... Sakwa displays an impressive mastery of the documentary evidence of several generations of Russia's history, and his selections are informed by a dispassionate and judicious outlook on its triumphs and failures..
–Donald Senese, Canadian Journal of History

About the Author

Richard Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Among his books are Russian Politics and Society (1996) and Soviet Politics in Perspective (1998), both published by Routledge.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David Mohr on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Sakwa's book is a compendium of original documents (or sometimes excerpts) that relate to Soviet history. The author restricts his own words to explanatory comments that set a particular document in context and sometimes relate the effect the document had on Soviet history. From the letters of nineteenth century Marxists to Gorbachev's last speech of December, 1991, the documents tell a story. However, everything depends on the choice of documents.

Certain key documents seem to be missing. In particular, the decree, issued not long after Stalin's death, that transferred the secret police's vast industrial empire to the relevent civilian and military bureaucracies, is not presented. This decree is key to understanding the end of Stalinism, because it ended the secret police's need for vast numbers of arrested slaves. In line with this omission, it is not made clear that the number of political arrests after Stalin's death was several orders of magnitude less than during the tyrant's misrule.

Unlike fascism, Communism attracted the support of vast numbers of decent, idealistic, and intelligent people. Portrayal of Soviet Communism as strictly evil and deceitful does not explain why this happened, and it does not explain why many Soviet citizens were enthusiastic about the direction of the USSR, at least before the Terror.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Dalpe on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A little wordy and sometimes hard to find the main idea in each chapter. There is quite a bit of info in in the book.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a collection of quoted writings by Lenin and his contemporaries. The author does give a paragraph summary here and there, but this is not useful for study of the Soviet Union. I want my 30 bucks back.
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The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union (Routledge Sources in History)
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