The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The End of an Empire

The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The End of an Empire

by Andrew Langley, Katie Van Sluys, Derek Shouba
     
 

At midnight on December 31, 1991, the flag of the Soviet Union came down for the last time, signaling the end of Soviet power and the end of the communist dream. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Soviet leaders had aimed to establish communism throughout the world. But early idealism turned to dictatorship, fueling the long, terrifying stalemate of the Cold War

Overview

At midnight on December 31, 1991, the flag of the Soviet Union came down for the last time, signaling the end of Soviet power and the end of the communist dream. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Soviet leaders had aimed to establish communism throughout the world. But early idealism turned to dictatorship, fueling the long, terrifying stalemate of the Cold War. By 1989, the Soviet Union was tottering, unable to control its own inhabitants or compete with the West. Its collapse changed global politics forever.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
The "Snapshots in History" series aims to acquaint middle readers with some significant historic events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Its authors face a challenge: how to make the narrative interesting to students lacking the background in politics and geography that would help them fill in gaps left by compressing complex stories into eight short chapters. Though aided by photographs, sidebars, and quotations, some succeed better than others. This title about the Soviet Union is especially difficult to make livelier than a parade of faces and facts. Starting with 1917, the author explains the Revolution and its causes, the Communist system, numerous leaders, wars, and satellites before even getting to the collapse—it is a tall order. Though much must be condensed, one regrets the omission of World War II events like the Winter War with Finland, the Battle of Stalingrad, and the bestiality of the Russian advance toward Berlin. Some maps in the early part of the book would be useful: though Siberia is mentioned several times, on no map is it marked. On the other hand, Langley does a good job of presenting the rival personalities of Gorbachev and Yeltsin and the escalating events of the breakup. In the last chapter, about the future of the new Russia, the author's conclusion, in view of steadily increasing state power, is probably too optimistic. One observation, however, is surely correct: "the old Soviet Union is gone forever." Each title includes a time line, a bibliography, a glossary, and source notes.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
Packed with information, these books succinctly cover major events during their respective periods. Sidebars and bracketed box quotes highlight important information and thoughts without breaking the flow of the narrative. Average-quality black-and-white and color photographs and illustrations are spread throughout. McCarthyism vividly portrays the fear of Communism in the U.S., beginning after the Russian Revolution. This book shows, in clear language, how McCarthy spread paranoia throughout the country and ruined many lives and careers. Quotes from the Army-McCarthy hearings illustrate how the senator's techniques eventually contributed to his official censure and loss of power. Soviet Union describes leaders, their plans, and their ultimate downfalls, from the removal of Tsar Nicholas II to the problems of present-day Russia. These books are great for research, providing brief but comprehensive views of their topics.
—Marilyn FairbanksCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756520090
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication date:
09/01/2006
Series:
Snapshots in History Series
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Andrew Langley is a prolific author of books for children, with a special interest in history and the environment. He has been short-listed for several major awards, most recently with books on natural disasters and Hiroshima.

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