Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the Last Days of the Soviet Empire

Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the Last Days of the Soviet Empire

by Neil Felshman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One wonders why Felshman chose not to write about theater in Moscow, presumably his area of greatest expertise as he works on joint projects there, and concentrated instead on politics, with which he seems to have little more familiarity than does an attentive newspaper reader. In a 288-page overview, he devotes just 18 pages to Russian history, and going back to 600 A.D., plus offering a two-and-a-half pages to a chronology cle of dates, which, for example, that omits such major figures as Peter the Great's daughter, the Empress Elizabeth. who ruled from 1741 to 1762. He has nothing new to say about the backgrounds of either Gorbachev or Yeltsin; his recap of pre-perestroika governance from Stalin to Chernenko omits analysis. Felshman is informative, however, when he presents his eyewitness account of Moscovites' stunned reactions as Gorbachev surrounded the city with 50,000 troops to stem the March 28, 1991, Yeltsin rally, noting, but perhaps only from hindsight, that on that day ``the balance of power changed . . . and was from then on irreversible.'' Photos not seen by PW . (Oct.)
Library Journal
This rambling, unfocused work presents a brief description of the August 1991 coup events, biographies of Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, a survey of Russian history from 1000 B.C. to 1931, an economic history of the Soviet period, and descriptions of both perestroika and glasnost. All are unconnected to one another. Felshman, who works on cultural exchanges with a Moscow theater, was in Moscow twice in 1991, once in the spring and again in August. His descriptions of the events he witnessed are superficial and spark no interest in the reader. Half of the background material included is irrelevant to the coup. Felshman appears to have no clear picture of his intended audience. Not recommended.-- Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed

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