Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia

Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia

by Martin Malia
     
 

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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

Overview

"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

Editorial Reviews

Gilbert Taylor
Analyzing Western Sovietology as much as critiquing the Communist regime, Malia surveys the artificial support lent to the "ideocratic partocracy" that was the Soviet Union. He takes aim at the concepts--both Leninists' political justifications and academic apologias--undergirding the forced creation of the classless society. As its tortured, now completed history proves, the Soviet Union never lacked academic explicators of the supposed deformations of its planned form. After World War II, the expanding social sciences came up with alternative models of Soviet development in order to refute the influential totalitarian one; among these were modernization theories, bureaucratic and interest group politics, and Marxist sociology. Among historians, admiring biographies such as Stephen Cohen's of Bukharin and Isaac Deutscher's of Trotsky implied that, to invigorate itself, Communism need only get back to the humane basics of the New Economic Policy (NEP) of the 1920s. Malia rejects such views as he reviews Sovietism's course, its Marxist foundation, the quandary its leaders faced when the proletarian revolution failed (initially) to spread abroad, and the zigzag reforms this failure necessitated, of which the NEP was merely the first attempt, Gorbachevism the futility-filled last. A trenchant summary that leaves no conceptual issue untouched.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439118542
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
06/30/2008
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
592
Sales rank:
1,021,717
File size:
2 MB

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