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The Handbook of the Former Soviet Union
     

The Handbook of the Former Soviet Union

by Michael G. Kort, Michael Kort
 
The Handbook of the Former Soviet Union is the first place to look for the answers to questions about the history of the Soviet Union and the future of Russia and the newly independent states. This easy-to-use, cross-referenced volume includes a wide range of completely up-to-date information.

Overview

The Handbook of the Former Soviet Union is the first place to look for the answers to questions about the history of the Soviet Union and the future of Russia and the newly independent states. This easy-to-use, cross-referenced volume includes a wide range of completely up-to-date information.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Patricia Morrow
Understanding the present-day circumstances of the former Soviet Union and its allied countries is difficult for a seasoned historian, yet students' interest should be encouraged despite the lack of up-to-date materials. In this "handbook," an author with extensive knowledge of the Eurasian colossus and experience writing books for a school-age audience provides an introduction to each of the countries involved. He includes a brief historical prospectus and a pointed summary of what has happened since the beginning of perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and the ascendance of the Yeltsin government in 1992. This is a complicated story about people, places, rulers, wars, geography, and ethnic rivalries that span centuries and in which many readers may have roots. The book has two parts. The first seven chapters cover the individual countries, reviewing their history, geography, and culture. Occasional photographs, either contemporary or historical, add some interest to this section. Good maps are included, with historical, Soviet, and contemporary boundaries shown. Flags of each of the new countries are included in full color, with an explanation of the symbolism. There also is a year-by-year chronology of events from 1985 through 1997 by country. The second major part of the book is an encyclopedia of people, places, groups, and events in short descriptive form with pictures of many of the leaders discussed throughout the earlier text. Even these short entries may be more than are likely to be found in other resources available in many libraries. While there is not a bibliography or further reading, the source notes provide citations of recent publications. This book might have its best use on the reference shelves, although a circulating copy would be good too. The text is easy to read and only complicated by trying to keep straight the places and peoples with the unfamiliar names. The maps are very necessary. Economic battles, the regained power of former communist leaders, and the struggle to implement democracy are clearly portrayed here and may convey to young readers the differences and similarities in countries around the world. Aside from a few editorial oversights, this is a valuable addition to the public and school library. It can answer questions and provide stimulus for further discussion and exploration of current events. Index. Photos. Maps. Source Notes. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpIn the first half of this fine resource, the countries that made up the former Soviet Union are examined from historical and geographical perspectives before offering analysis of their first years of independence and the most serious economic, political, and cultural issues that they currently face. An impressive amount of material is covered cogently and well. Moreover, Kort manages to convey much of the emotions provoked by the changes and the challenges of the `90s. A 10-page section of maps and flags of the post-Soviet states is useful, as is a 6-page chronology of events from 1985-1997. The other substantial section is an encyclopedia with entries on places, terms, and important individuals in the new nations' political and cultural spheres. Here, too, the author has a knack for introducing interesting information that may easily draw students into reading additional entries. Maps and full-color and black-and-white photos appear throughout. Stephen K. and Sandra L. Batalden's The Newly Independent States of Eurasia (Oryx, 1997) has charts of statistics and more detailed coverage of recent events, but Kort's Handbook is more engaging reading for a pre-college audience. This clearly written, user-friendly, and informative resource should be a welcome addition to most libraries.Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761300168
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Series:
The Handbook of... Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.29(w) x 9.31(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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