Read e-book online Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000: Soviet PDF

By Stephen Kotkin

ISBN-10: 0192802453

ISBN-13: 9780192802453

Review

"The clearest photograph we need to date of the post-Soviet landscape."--The New Yorker

"A triumph of the paintings of latest historical past. In fewer than 2 hundred pages, Kotkin elucidates the implosion of the Soviet empire--the most crucial and startling sequence of overseas occasions of the earlier fifty years--and essentially spells out why, thank you virtually fullyyt to the 'principal restraint' of the Soviet management, that cave in did not lead to a cataclysmic struggle, as all specialists had lengthy forecasted."-The Atlantic Monthly

"Concise and persuasive The secret, for Kotkin, isn't loads why the Soviet Union collapsed as why it did so with so little collateral damage."--The ny overview of Books

About the Author

Stephen Kotkin is Professor of eu and Asian heritage at Princeton collage, the place he additionally directs the Russian-Eurasian experiences software. he's the writer of 9 books.

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Additional info for Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000: Soviet Collapse Since 1970

Example text

Overall, with seventy-one million former Soviet inhabitants (one of every four) suddenly living outside their nominal national homeland, if they had a national homeland at all, and with the horrid example of much smaller Yugoslavia’s catastrophic break-up right next door, one shudders to think of the manipulative wars, indeed the nuclear, chemical, or biological Armageddon, that could have accompanied the Soviet collapse. Who had anticipated that the Soviet Union would meekly dissolve itself? Those few analysts who did perceive the depth of Soviet problems, and the structural impediments to solving them, never imagined that such a police state would just let go, quietly.

Convinced before 1991 that the “conservatives” were right, that Soviet socialism and the Union were being (inadvertently) destroyed by Gorbachev’s perestroika, I had sought an audience and got it with the number two man in the Soviet hierarchy, Yegor Ligachev, in his office at Party HQ on Old Square. To be inside the Central Committee complex, whose history and intrigues I knew from reading, had a surreal quality. Beyond attaining the forbidden, I wanted to figure out why neither Ligachev nor anyone else at the top had tried to remove Gorbachev and undo the reforms.

The acquisition of an outer empire in Eastern Europe—what, again, looked like a Soviet strength—had proved to be a dangerous vulnerability. Of course, in the late 1940s, when Soviet-style socialism first spread to Eastern Europe, it had seemed the leading edge of a possible world takeover, especially after the 1949 victory of the Chinese Communists in the world’s most populous country. Few people understood that a major shift had indeed occurred—but in the opposite direction, to the grave detriment of Soviet socialism.

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Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000: Soviet Collapse Since 1970 by Stephen Kotkin


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