Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$12.45
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: First edition! It has crisp pages with small surface stains along the page edges, and a good binding. The dust jacket has some wear, but otherwise the book is in good condition--no writing or highlighting! 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to Thousands of happy customers. FAST SHIPPING! Ships direct from Amazon. Free shipping on orders over $35! And Free 2nd day shipping on orders over $49! Tracking number and Amazon customer service provided with every order.
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

Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador's Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union Hardcover – October 24, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$16.94 $0.89

Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
click to open popover
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 836 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (October 24, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679413766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679413769
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
75%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
25%
1 star
0%
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This "Account on the Collapse of the Soviet Union" may be the best book I have read about the demise of the Soviet Union - I personally prefer it over David Remnick's "Lenin's Tomb," which won the Pulitzer Price. For one thing I think Mr. Matlock is among the men best suited to write about the Soviet Union, since he has experienced it first-hand for over 30 years. Moreover, although he never denies that the book constitutes his personal account, he still manages to seperate the issues discussed from his own person, something that I found Remnick to have trouble with at times. His theories, although not necessarily earth-shattering, are backed up by oodles of evidence, be it data or just anecdotes. The summary and the description of the CIS states and the future of the Commonwealth also provide a glimpse into the future. All you ever wanted to know about the epochal events and influences shaping the former Soviet block today.
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Autopsy on an Empire by Jack Matlock, US Ambassador to Moscow from 1987 to 1991, was published in 1995, and is my personal "book of the year" for 2013, the year I belatedly discovered it.

Ambassador Matlock covers the collapse of Soviet Union starting from Mikhail Gorbachev's appointment as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1985 through the early travails of the Russian Republic under Boris Yeltsin in 1992-92. He provides a detailed chronology of the events in this story and vivid descriptions of the multitude of personalities who played significant roles in them. Rather than attempt to describe or summarize these events and personalities, I hope in this review to provide a high level overview of the situation, conflicts, and strategies underlying the collapse of the Soviet Union.

1. Background

The Soviet Union was not a normal country. It was founded on the Marxist theory of the class struggle. The existence of non-Marxist states abroad or non-Marxist parties domestically were considered direct threats to the USSR and the CPSU. To counter the threats abroad, the early foreign policy of the USSR was based on supporting world-wide revolution by local communist movements. Following World War II, this policy evolved into support of wars of national liberation by communist forces in the developing countries and the Cold War with the US and its allies. To counter domestic threats, Article VI of the Soviet Constitution gave the CPSU a "Leading Role" in setting and executing the policies of the Soviet government.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent chronicle of the end of the Soviet Union and of the transitional difficulties between the Reagan administration and the G.H.W. Bush administration. Historians will find this work useful because of Matlock's insider relationship with all the major players in the Soviet Union.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I've read better books about the Soviet Union. The trouble with this book is that it's written by a politician, and it's the nature of the politician to try and convince others of their ideas. He makes an odd statement about how Russians didn't have it as bad as other ethnicities in the Soviet Union, yet other material makes it pretty clear that Stalin didn't favor any race. He displaced all races within his grasp, and favored only himself. Though he did appear to have something bad in mind for the Jews at one point, this was anti-Jewish in nature, not pro-Russian. Also, the author makes frequent references to "right wingers" when referring to the Communists, which is odd because much Communist propaganda specifically is anti-right wing, even using that specific phrase.

Besides having odd biases, the writer's tone is generally unclear. His narrative is something of a blend between biography and history, and he hops around a lot from talking about Russians, Americans, and his own personal activities. Someone as politically influential as he was at the time definitely has a good perspective on things, but it would have been better if he simply stuck to his own story. It frequently feels like he's talking about things he doesn't understand, or else talking about his own perceptions. It also seems pretty odd that an American would have such insight into the activities of Gorbachev and other Russian politicians. An author with more of a historical and less of a political background would be preferable.

While there are things to learn from this book, particularly about Soviet politics, the author does not feel reliable. Better books on Communism are Life and Death in Shanghai, The Gulag Archipelago, and Mao: the Unknown Story. The Red Flag is also good for the history of Communism and its origins.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse