Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union

Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union

by Geoffrey Hosking
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674030532

ISBN-13: 9780674030534

Pub. Date: 02/28/2009

Publisher: Harvard

Many westerners used to call the Soviet Union "Russia." Russians too regarded it as their country, but that did not mean they were entirely happy with it. In the end, in fact, Russia actually destroyed the Soviet Union. How did this happen, and what kind of Russia emerged?

In this illuminating book, Geoffrey Hosking explores what the Soviet experience meant for

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Overview

Many westerners used to call the Soviet Union "Russia." Russians too regarded it as their country, but that did not mean they were entirely happy with it. In the end, in fact, Russia actually destroyed the Soviet Union. How did this happen, and what kind of Russia emerged?

In this illuminating book, Geoffrey Hosking explores what the Soviet experience meant for Russians. One of the keys lies in messianism--the idea rooted in Russian Orthodoxy that the Russians were a "chosen people." The communists reshaped this notion into messianic socialism, in which the Soviet order would lead the world in a new direction. Neither vision, however, fit the "community spirit" of the Russian people, and the resulting clash defined the Soviet world.

Hosking analyzes how the Soviet state molded Russian identity, beginning with the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war. He discusses the severe dislocations resulting from collectivization and industrialization; the relationship between ethnic Russians and other Soviet peoples; the dramatic effects of World War II on ideas of homeland and patriotism; the separation of "Russian" and "Soviet" culture; leadership and the cult of personality; and the importance of technology in the Soviet world view.

At the heart of this penetrating work is the fundamental question of what happens to a people who place their nationhood at the service of empire. There is no surer guide than Geoffrey Hosking to reveal the historical forces forging Russian identity in the post-communist world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674030534
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
02/28/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. Marxism and the Crisis of Russian Messianism

2. The Effects of Revolution and Civil War

3. Soviet Nationality Policy and the Russians

4. Two Russias Collide

5. Projecting a New Russia

6. The Great Fatherland War

7. The Sweet and Bitter Fruits of Victory

8. The Relaunch of Utopia

9. The Rediscovery of Russia

10. The Return of Politics

11. An Unanticipated Creation: The Russian Federation

Conclusion

Appendix: Tables

Notes

Index

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