Author: Richard Sakwa
Release Date: 2005-08-17
Through sources and documents, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union by Richard Sakwa places the Soviet experience in historical and comparative context. The author introduces each source in this volume fully and provides commentary and analysis. Using eye-witness accounts, official documents and new materials which have just come to light, Richard Sakwa gives an historical overview of the Soviet Union from the revolution of 1906 to the fall of the regime.
The Soviet Union is often characterised as nominally a federation, but really an empire, liable to break up when individual federal units, which were allegedly really subordinate colonial units, sought independence. This book questions this interpretation, revisiting the theory of federation, and discussing actual examples of federations such as the United States, arguing that many federal unions, including the United States, are really centralised polities. It also discusses the nature of empires, nations and how they relate to nation states and empires, and the right of secession, highlighting the importance of the fact that this was written in to the Soviet constitution. It examines the attitude of successive Soviet leaders towards nationalities, and the changing attitudes of nationalists towards the Soviet Union. Overall, it demonstrates that the Soviet attitude to nationalities and federal units was complicated, wrestling, in a similar way to many other states, with difficult questions of how ethno-cultural justice can best be delivered in a political unit which is bigger than the national state.
This is a thematically arranged text illustrating popular resisitance to Nazism in Germany from 1930-1945, and the affect of Nazism on everyday life. The book combines a lucid, synthesized analysis together with a wide selection of integrated source material taken from pamphlets, diaries, recent oral testimonies, correspondence and more. Different chapters focus on social groups and activities, such as youth movements, religion, Jewish Germans, and the working classes.
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Release Date: 2013-09-02
Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.
Author: William J. Tompson
Release Date: 2014-07-30
The Soviet Union Under Brezhnev provides an accessible post-Soviet perspective on the history of the USSR from the mid-1960’s to the mid-1980’s. It challenges both the ‘evil empire’ image of the USSR that was widespread in the early 1980’s and the ‘stagnation’ label attached to the period by Soviet reformers under Gorbachev. The book makes use of a range of memoirs, interviews, archival documents and other sources not available before 1990 to place Brezhnev and his epoch in a broader historical context. The author: examines high politics, foreign policy and policy making explores broader social, cultural and demographic trends presents a picture of Soviet society in the crucial decades prior to the upheavals and crises of the late 1980’s While stopping well short of a full-scale rehabilitation of Brezhnev, Tompson rejects the prevailing image of the Soviet leader as a colourless non-entity, drawing attention to Brezhnev’s real political skills, as well as his faults, and to the systemic roots of many of the problems he faced.
The idea of non-alignment and peaceful coexistence was not new when Yugoslavia hosted the Belgrade Summit of the Non-Aligned in September 1961. Freedom activists from the colonies in Asia, Africa, and South America had been discussing such issues for decades already, but this long-lasting context is usually forgotten in political and historical assessments of the Non-Aligned Movement. This book puts the Non-Aligned Movement into its wider historical context and sheds light on the long-term connections and entanglements of the Afro-Asian world. It assembles scholars from differing fields of research, such as Asian Studies, Eastern European and Southeast European History, Cold War Studies, Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations. In doing so, this volume looks back to the ideological beginnings of the concept of peaceful coexistence at the time of the anticolonial movements, and at the multi-faceted challenges of foreign policy the former freedom fighters faced when they established their own decolonized states. It analyses the crucial role Yugoslav president Tito played in his determination to keep his country out of the blocs, and finally examines the main achievement of the Non-Aligned Movement: to give subordinate states of formerly subaltern peoples a voice in the international system. An innovative look at the Non-Aligned Movement with a strong historical component, the book will be of great interest to academics working in the field of International Affairs, international history of the 20th century, the Cold War, Race Relations as well as scholars interested in Asian, African and Eastern European history.
Author: Martin Mccauley
Release Date: 2014-01-14
'An expert in probing mafia-type relationships in present-day Russia, Martin McCauley here offers a vigorously written scrutiny of Soviet politics and society since the days of Lenin and Stalin.' John Keep, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto. The birth of the Soviet Union surprised many; its demise amazed the whole world. How did imperial Russia give way to the Soviet Union in 1917, and why did the USSR collapse so quickly in 1991? Marxism promised paradise on earth, but the Communist Party never had true power, instead allowing Lenin and Stalin to become dictators who ruled in its name. The failure of the planned economy to live up to expectations led to a boom in the unplanned economy, in particular the black market. In turn, this led to the growth of organised crime and corruption within the government. The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union examines the strengths, weaknesses, and contradictions of the first Marxist state, and reassesses the role of power, authority and legitimacy in Soviet politics. Including first-person accounts, anecdotes, illustrations and diagrams to illustrate key concepts, McCauley provides a seminal history of twentieth-century Russia.
Author: Philip Hanson
Release Date: 2014-09-11
Why did the Soviet economic system fall apart? Did the economy simply overreach itself through military spending? Was it the centrally-planned character of Soviet socialism that was at fault? Or did a potentially viable mechanism come apart in Gorbachev's clumsy hands? Does its failure mean that true socialism is never economically viable? The economic dimension is at the very heart of the Russian story in the twentieth century. Economic issues were the cornerstone of soviet ideology and the soviet system, and economic issues brought the whole system crashing down in 1989-91. This book is a record of what happened, and it is also an analysis of the failure of Soviet economics as a concept.
Author: Stephen J. Lee
Release Date: 2005-06-20
Stalin and the Soviet Union offers new interpretations of recently uncovered archives examining the Soviet leader's domestic and foreign policy. It covers core topics such as: * Stalin's rise to power * the economy * society * culture * the Cold War * the Second World War * terror. For all students of Russia, Stalin and European history, this will prove essential reading, and a clear background and guide to exam success.
Der Diktator und seine Herrschaft. Ein neuer Blick auf Stalin. Am Morgen des 1. März 1953, kurz nachdem er seinen engsten Führungszirkel verabschiedet hat, erleidet Josef Stalin in seiner Datscha bei Moskau einen Schlaganfall. Wenige Tage später ist er tot. Oleg Chlewnjuk, einer der führenden Stalinismus-Experten, nimmt diese letzten Lebenstage zum Ausgangspunkt einer beeindruckenden Biographie – auf Grundlage bisher unbekannter Quellen aus sowjetischen Archiven eröffnet sie einen neuen Blick auf den Diktator und seine Herrschaft. So spiegelt sich in Stalins letzten Tagen nicht nur der eigentümliche Charakter seines Regimes, auch seine intimste Umgebung gerät ins Blickfeld. Die Phase des Abschieds erschließt zudem eine neue Perspektive auf die wichtigsten Stationen seines Lebens: Kindheit und Jugend in Georgien, der Weg vom jungen Revolutionär zum politischen Führer und grausamen Despoten, der Kampf gegen Nazi-Deutschland, der Beginn des Kalten Krieges. Chlewnjuk durchleuchtet die elitären Machtzirkel des Kremls, die Stalin umgeben – und zeigt damit, wie untrennbar die Person des Diktators mit der Geschichte des sowjetischen Terrors verknüpft ist.