History of the Soviet Union: 1917-1991

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9780006862871: History of the Soviet Union: 1917-1991

The author traces the evolution of the Soviet political system from its origins in 1917 to the present day. He shows how power has rarely been devolved outside a particularly tightly-knit ruling elite. Special emphasis is placed on the experience of the peasantry, urban workers and professionals.

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From the Back Cover:

WINNER OF THE 'LOS ANGELES TIMES' BOOK AWARD FOR HISTORY

Now that the great Soviet empire has finally unravelled, and with the future of the Commonwealth of Independent States looking precarious at best, and violent at worst, as long-subdued territorial conflicts flourish from Moldova to Siberia, never has it been so important to understand the vast continued bureaucracy that for seventy years held so many disparate peoples together. How it did so, and the tactics it employed, form the spine of this acclaimed study of the world's last great land empire.

Geoffrey Hosking traces the evolution of the Soviet political system from its revolutionary origins in 1917 to the collapse instigated by the reforms of Gorbachev's 'perestroika'. He shows how power was rarely devolved outside a particularly tightly knit ruling elite, and focuses on the forms of contact that existed between rulers and ruled. He places special emphasis on the experience of the peasantry, urban workers and the professional class, drawing on a mass of monographs and memoirs to show how they generated their own informal practices to adjust to changing Soviet social structures, and how, more often than is commonly realized in the West, they resisted repression and deprivation. This Final Edition obliges us to reflect on the enormity of the changes witnessed in the lands of the Soviet Union in the past five years.

By providing a vivid picture of what it has felt like to be a Soviet citizen during the prodigious upheavals of the twentieth century, it reminds us that we cannot afford to ignore the impact of this empire, globally and locally – an impact whose legacy will be with us well into the twenty-first century.

"The outstanding merit of Professor Hosking's book is that the author knows and understands Russians, and brings this understanding to bear on his study of history."
R.W. DAVIES, 'THES'

"This is a first-rate introduction to Russian history since 1917…No-one reading it can fail to be impressed by its sound sense, its mature weighing up of the issues and its considered judgements."
PIERRE WATTER, 'TES'

About the Author:

Geoffrey Hosking has been Professor of Russian History at the School of Slavonic Studies, University of London, since 1984. He is the author of the award-winning ‘History of the Soviet Union’ for Fontana Press. In 1988, Professor Hosking was invited to give the annual BBC Reith lectures and spoke on the subject of Change in Contemporary Soviet Society, in doing so accurately predicting the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Hosking, Geoffrey
Published by Fontana Press (1992)
ISBN 10: 000686287X ISBN 13: 9780006862871
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Hosking, Geoffrey
Published by Fontana Press (1992)
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Hosking, Geoffrey
Published by Fontana Press (1992)
ISBN 10: 000686287X ISBN 13: 9780006862871
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