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"The Soviet Tragedy is an essential coda to the literature of Soviet studies...Insofar as [he] returns the power of ideology to its central place in Soviet history, Malia has made an enormous contribution. He has written the history of a utopian illusion and the tragic consequences it had for the people of the Soviet Union and the world."
— David Remnick, The New York Review of Books
"In Martin Malia, the Soviet Union had one of its most acute observers. With this book, it may well have found the cornerstone of its history."
— Francois Furet, author of Interpreting the French Revolution
"The Soviet Tragedy offers the most thorough scholarly analysis of the Communist phenomenon that we are likely to get for a long while to come...Malia states that his narrative is intended 'to substantiate the basic argument,' and this is certainly an argumentative book, which drives its thesis home with hammer blows. On this breathtaking journey, Malia is a witty and often brilliantly penetrating guide. He has much wisdom to impart."
— The Times Literary Supplement
"This is history at the high level, well deployed factually, but particularly worthwhile in the philosophical and political context — at once a view and an overview."
— The Washington Post
Posted March 8, 2012
Posted February 18, 2004
This text traces the history of the world's first socialist nation from the origins of socialist philosophy up to the 1991 collapse. The political acumen of Lenin, the crimes of Stalin, Khrushchev's utopian schemes, Brezhnev's gerontocracy, and Gorbachev's attempts to renew the system are all elucidated and brought full circle. Malia is not afraid to ask and answer the 'What if..?' questions. What if NEP wasn't cut short? What if Bukharin's ideas came to fruition? The prevalent theory may be that the West 'won' the Cold War, but after reading this book one wonders if the USSR's adversaries were actually just patient enough to hold the Red monolith in check and await its inevitable collapse.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.