Black Hundred: The Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia

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9780060925345: Black Hundred: The Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia

Vladimir Zhirinovsky's "second Bolshevik revolution" in October 1993 shocked the world with the strength of the Russian Red-Brown alliance and the danger it poses to Russian democracy and world peace. In this book, Walter Laqueur, an expert on Russian and European history, provides a portrait of the leaders and tenets of the Russian extreme right and their attempts to win over public opinion at a time of grave domestic trouble. It is clear that Russia's long-term fate is far from settled, and this book introduces readers to a movement that may have a fateful impact on Russia in the years to come.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

From prolific Russian scholar Laqueur (Stalin and Soviet Union 2000, both 1990, etc): a path-breaking analysis of the extreme right in Russia, including a thoughtful and plausible prediction of its role in that country's future. Laqueur first looks to the origins of the Russian right, initially at its 19th-century roots and then at the ``Black Hundred,'' an amorphous extreme-right organization that emerged between 1900 and 1917. This mindlessly anti-Semitic group--probably never representative of more than 20% of the Russian population- -influenced national affairs even while Stalin's own nationalist socialism was dominant. The importance of Russia's extreme right, Laqueur says, now lies in its alliance of convenience with former Communist and security-apparatus bureaucrats who are against glasnost and perestroika. The right has been given a boost by the dismay felt even outside more extreme circles over the breakup of the Soviet empire, by Russia's catastrophic economic decline, and by recent damage to veteran institutions of Russian life. Laqueur doesn't predict any rise to power of a far-right government- -Hitler's invasion and Stalin's rule, he contends, have inoculated the Russian people against fascism--but he thinks that ``an authoritarian system based on some nationalist populism appears more probable.'' Help, he adds, can come ``only through the Russian people's own efforts, their good sense, and their fortitude in adversity.'' Laqueur brings to this study an incomparable knowledge, sureness of touch, and deftness of judgment that make it far more than just an analysis of the role of the Russian right. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

With the collapse of communism, Russia's rightwing extremists have made a comeback. Political analyst Laqueur ( The Age of Terrorism ) combed Russian journals, manifestos, booklets, leaflets and other sources to produce the first in-depth, comprehensive look at an alarming phenomenon. An essential source for Russia-watchers, his meticulous study profiles anti-Western ultra-nationalists, the openly fascistic and anti-Semitic Pamyat movement, fanatical sects within the Orthodox church, various monarchist factions and the reemerging Cossacks. These groups espouse militarism and a belief that Russia can function only if led by an authoritarian government. Laqueur documents the close collaboration of the Russian Orthodox church with the Communist Party leadership and the KGB. He traces the far right's origins to 19th-century Slavophiles and to the Black Hundred, a xenophobic movement which flourished between 1904 and 1917. His chilling report sounds a warning to the West. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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