The Structure of Soviet History: Essays and Documents / Edition 1

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This unique collection of primary documents and important scholarly articles tells the fascinating and tragic story of Russia's twentieth century. Edited by Ronald Grigor Suny, an eminent historian and political scientist, The Structure of Soviet History illustrates both the revolutionary changes and the broad continuities in Soviet history. It discusses the history, not only of the Russian people, but of other Soviet peoples as well--the nationalities that made up the tsarist and Soviet empires and formed independent states in the early 1990s. This volume enables students to delve beyond traditional narratives to look at the building blocks of history--archival documents, memoirs, and interpretive essays by the leading experts in the field. Students will learn about the fall of the tsarist empire, the hopes and aspirations of the revolutionary years, the brutalities of the Stalin years, the attempts to reform the country in the last decades of Soviet power, and finally, the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of fifteen fragile republics. Rather than imposing a single view on students, The Structure of Soviet History allows them to come up with their own, fresh interpretations of a controversial and often misunderstood experience.
Organized chronologically and covering political, social, and cultural history from a variety of viewpoints, the readings examine all of the major events and principal interpretations of Soviet history. Selections include official pronouncements and dissident manifestos, public speeches and private letters, and previously untranslated documents. Suny's introductory essay provides the broad outlines of Soviet history, while the chapter introductions summarize the main features and historical debates of each period. Each document is prefaced by a brief headnote that identifies the author and places the work in context; explanatory notes are also included to define words and events that may not be familiar to students. A truly unique text, The Structure of Soviet History is ideal for use in undergraduate courses on the history of the Soviet Union as well as introductory courses on Soviet politics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195137040
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/22/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Chicago
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Back to the Future
1. The Revolution of 1917
Ronald Grigor Suny, "Toward a Social History of the October Revolution"
Boris I. Kolonitskii, "Antibourgeois Propaganda and Anti-'Burzhui' Consciousness in 1917"
Order No. 1.
A. F. Kerenskii's Statement in the Soviet of Worker's Deputies, March 2, 1917
Iraklii Tsereteli's Speech on Returning from Siberian Exile, March 1917
V. I. Lenin, "The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution ('April Theses')"
Tsereteli and Lenin's Exchange of Words During the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, June 3-4, 1917
"Report of the Commissar of the Novoaleksandrovsk Uezd, Kovno Guberniia," June 14, 1917
V. I. Lenin, "Letter to Central Committee Members," October 24, (November 6), 1917
2. Civil War, Socialism, and Nationalism
Peter Holquist, "'Information Is the Alpha and Omega of Our Work': Bolshevik Surveillance in Its Pan-European Context"
First Decrees of the New Soviet Government The Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly I. N. Steinberg, "The Cheka is Cheated"
Iulii Martov's Letter to A. N. Stein, June 16, 1918
Lenin's Letter to v. V. Kuraev, E. B. Bosh, A. E. Minkin, August 11, 1918
Lev Trotsky, "Report on the Red Army" to the First Congress of the Communist International, March 2, 1919
3. Politics, Society, and Culture in the 1920s
Terry Martin, "An Affirmative-Action Empire: The Emergence of the Soviet Nationalities Policy, 1919-1923"
Aleksandra Kollontai, The Workers' Opposition, 1921
Resolution of the Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party, "On Party Unity" and "On the Syndicalist and Anarchist Deviation in Our Party," March 1921
Lenin's Letter to Stalin, July 17, 1922
V. I. Lenin, "Letter to Congress" (December 23-31, 1922) [Lenin's "Testament"]
Bukharin and Dzerzhinskii Disagree About the Nature of Revolutionary Government, December 1924
Joseph Stalin, "The October Rvolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists," December 17, 1924
Lev Kameney, "Speech to the Fourteenth Party Congress," December 1925
The Code of Laws on Marriage and Divorce, the Family and Guardianship, November 19, 1926
Kamenev-Burkharin Exchange, July 11, 1928
Kliment Voroshilov's Letter to "Sergo" Orjonikidze, June 8, 1929
Stalin's Letter to Molotov, Voroshilov, and Orjonikidze, September 30, 1929
Lev Kopelev, from To Be Preserved Forever
4. The Stalin Revolution
Sheila Fitzpatrick, "The Bolshevik Invention of Class: Marxist Theory and the Making of 'Class Consciousness' in Soviet Society"
James Von Geldern, "The Centre and the Periphery: Cultural and Social Geography in the Mass Culture of the 1930s"
Nicholas S. Timasheff, "World Revolution or Russia," from The Great Retreat
Vera S. Dunham, "The Big Deal"
Joseph Stalin, "Dizzy with Success: Concerning Questions of the Collective Farm Movement," March 2, 1930
Lev Kopelev, "The Last Grain Collections (1933)"
I. V. Stalin, "New Conditions--New Tasks in Economic Construction," Stalin's Speech to a Conference of Economic Managers, June 23, 1931
Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), "On the Teaching of Civic History in the Schools of the USSR," May 16, 1934
"For the Fatherland!" Editorial in Pravda, June 9, 1934
Stalin's Letter to Kosior and Chubar in Kharkov, January 2, 1930
Nadezhda Mandelstam, "AMay Night," excerpts from Hope Against Hope: A Memoir
Stalin to All Members of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Cummunist Party, March 31, 1937
Stalin on the Arrests and Executions of Tukhachevskii, Iakir, Uborevich, and Others, June 11, 1937
Beria to Stalin on Counter-revolutionary Organization in Ajaria, July 17, 1937
Stalin to the Secretaries of Obkoms, Kraikoms, and Central Committees of the National Communist Parties, August 3, 1937
Iu. Lvova, "Is Pashchitskii Present?"
Nikolai Bukharin's Letter to Stalin, December 10, 1937
Mekhlis to Stalin and Ezhov, October 28, 1938
Conference of Musicians at the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party, January 1948
Report to Stalin on Dissolving Jewish Writers' Associations; and Stalin's Decision (February 8, 1949)
Nikita Khrushchev's Apology to Stalin, March 6, 1951
5. Dangers and Opportunities: The Comintern, World War, and Cold War
John Barber, "Popular Reactions in Moscow to the German Invasion of June 22, 1941"
David Holloway, "The Premises of Policy," from Stalin and the Bomb
"Theses on the National and Colonial Questions" (1920)
"Theses on the Conditions for Admission" to the Communist International (1920)
Stalin, "On the Tasks of Workers in the Economy," excerpts from his speech to the First All-Union Conference of Workers of Socialist Industry, February 4, 1931
Stalin's Interview with Roy Howard of the Scripps-Howard Publications (1936)
The Nazi-Soviet Pact, August 23, 1939
Memorandum from Lavreni Beria to Stalin, March 5, 1940
Letter to Nikita Khrushchev from Aleksandr Shelepin, March 3, 1959; and Draft Resolution to Destroy the Documents Concerning the Katyn Massacre, March 3, 1959
Admiral N. G. Kuznetsov, "At Naval Headquarters"
Report from Beria to Stalin, July 4, 1944
Record of Conversations between Comrade I. V. Stalin and Chairman of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, December 16, 1949; January 22, 1950
6. From Autocracy to Oligarchy
Deborah A. Field, "Irreconcilable Differences: Divorce and Conceptions of Private Life in the Khrushchev Era"
Evgenii Evtushenko, from A Precocious Autobiography
Nikita Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, February 25, 1956
Joseph Starobin, "1956--A Memoir"
Report of Vladimir Semichastnyi, chairman of the KGB, July 25, 1962
7. Stagnation
John Bushnell, "The 'New Soviet Man' Turns Pessimist"
James R. Millar, "The Little Deal: Brezhnev's Contribution to Acquisitive Socialism"
Fedor Burlatskii, "Brezhnev and the End of the Thaw: Reflections on the Nature of Political Leadership"
Report of Vladmir Semichastnyi to the Central Comittee on Armenian Nationalists, February 7, 1966
"Was the 1968 Prague Invasion Justified?"
"The Case of Boris Kochubiyevsky"
Letter from Vladimir Vysotskii to Petr Dimichev, April 17, 1973
8. The Road to Revolution
Victoria E. Bonnell and Gregory Freidin, "Televorot: The Role of Television Coverage in Russia's August 1991 Coup"
Mikhail Gorbachev, from Memoirs
Election of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nina Andreeva, "I Cannot Give Up My Principles"
The REhabilitation of Bukharin Boris Yeltsin Resigns from the Communist Party at the Twenty-Eighth Congress of the CPSU (July 1990)
Boris Yeltsin Calls for Gorbachev's Resignation (February 1991)
The August Coup End of the USSR: Formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States Mikhail Gorbachev, "Speech of Resignation," December 25, 1991
9. The Second Russian Republic and the "Near Abroad"
Lilia Shevtsova, "Russia's Post-Communist Politics: Revolution or Continuity?"
Ronald Grigor Suny, "Elite Transformation in Late-Soviet and Post-Soviet Transcaucasia, or What Happens When the Ruling Class Can't Rule?"
Valentin Rasputin, "After Events, On the Eve of Events," January 1992
Gavriil Popov, "August 1991"
Teltsin Dissolves Parliament, Calls Elections, September 21, 1993; and the Reply by Ruslan Khasbulatov Andranik Migranian, "Russia and the Near Abroad"
Boris Yeltsin, "Appeal to the Citizens of Russia," December 11, 1994
The Russian State Duma Nullifies the Breakup of the Soviet Union Principles for Determining the Foundations of Relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic, August 31, 1996
Boris Yeltsin, "Address to the Russian People," December 31, 1999
10. Summing Up
"Z" [Martin Malia], "To the Stalin Mausoleum"
Alexander Dallin, "Causes of the Collapse of the USSR"
Stephen Holmes, "What Russia Teaches Us Now: How Weak States Threaten Freedom"

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