The Last Years Of The Soviet Empire

Overview

Between 1985 and 1991, the Soviet Union was shaken to its core by a series of remarkable social and political developments. Throughout the period, the eminent Sovietologist Vladimir Shlapentokh monitored the revolution and recorded his impressions in a series of essays which were published in major North American newspapers and periodicals. Here Shlapentokh collects these snapshots of current events that detail the progression of perestroika and glasnost. The essays and accompanying narrative form a kind of ...

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Overview

Between 1985 and 1991, the Soviet Union was shaken to its core by a series of remarkable social and political developments. Throughout the period, the eminent Sovietologist Vladimir Shlapentokh monitored the revolution and recorded his impressions in a series of essays which were published in major North American newspapers and periodicals. Here Shlapentokh collects these snapshots of current events that detail the progression of perestroika and glasnost. The essays and accompanying narrative form a kind of political diary, reflecting not only the facts of history, but the author's perspective as a Soviet/Western observer.

Each chapter focuses on a single year. The snapshots from that year are woven together with narrative describing the year's most important milestones, including events in Moscow, results of new polls, new social trends, and revelations in the Soviet mass media. Surprisingly, Shlapentokh concludes that perestroika was not inevitable, and that the Soviet Union was not, as many scholars assert, doomed to collapse. The author's unusual perspective is preserved throughout the book, since none of the essays, including those that predicted future events, have been altered to more closely approximate events that actually took place. Recommended for scholars of sociology, political science, and Soviet history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275944407
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/1993
  • Pages: 242
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

VLADIMIR SHLAPENTOKH is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Community Health Science at Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgment
Introduction
1 1985-1986: Initial Steps Toward Modernizarion 1
Gorbachev's Reforms: Ritual or Reality? June 1985 3
Is the KGB on the Rise in Moscow? August 1985 6
In the Soviet Union, the Myth is the Message. September 1985 9
The Poor Soviet Apparatchik. December 1985 12
How Firm is Gorbachev's War on Deceit? March 1986 14
Soviets Must Revise Ideas on Property. March 1986 17
Goodbye to an Old Soviet Dream: Catching Up to the West. April 1986 20
Fewer Rubles Under the Table. June 1986 23
Gorbachev's Still Lauding the Collective. August 1986 25
Seeing Through the New Soviet Image. November 1986 27
Russia's New Interest in Religion. November 1986 30
The Unfamiliar Side of Mikhail Gorbachev: The Dissident at the Top. December 1986 33
2 1987: The Beginnings of Real Change - and Real Unrest 37
Ethnic Tensions Smolder in Russia. January 1987 39
Glasnost Holds No Meaning For Soviet Jews. April 1987 41
Can Gorbachev Cope With the Privatization of Soviet Society? May 1987 44
Gorbachev's Glasnost: The Lesson For American Media. May 1987 47
Glasnost Stirs the Dustbin of History. May 1987 50
Soviets Head For Showdown on Reforms. July 1987 52
Will the Ethnic Bomb Destroy Gorbachev? August 1987 55
Melons, Rubles, and the Comrades' Work Ethic. August 1987 58
Soviet Consumers Still Have No Voice. October 1987 61
3 1988: Political Progress, Economic Decline, and Increasing Tension 65
Fighting to Warm Up the Cold Soviet Heart. April 1988 67
Reagan Will Face a Russia in Deep Internal Conflict. May 1988 70
A Nation of Discontent: Political Gains Can't Hide a Burdensome, Empty Material Life. June 1988 73
Is the USSR Headed Toward Bloom or Doom? July 1988 76
The Soviet Empire Continues Its Move Toward Decentralization. August 1988 78
Soviet Private Business: Boon or Blight For Gorbachev's Russia? August 1988 81
Who is the Third Force in the Kremlin? October 1988 84
Gorbachev's Pyrrhic Victory. October 1988 87
Technological Retardation in the Soviet Union: Gorbachev's Strongest Ally. December 1988 90
4 1989: The Masses Speak Out 93
Gorbachev's Retreat: Tactical or Strategic? January 1989 95
Gorbachev's Globalism: The World Revolution in Reverse. February 1989 98
The Election - A Warning Signal to the Party. April 1989 101
The Ruble on the Verge of Collapse. July 1989 104
The Apocalyptic Mood of the Soviet People. July 1989 107
A Simmering Threat to the Jews? August 1989 110
The KGB - The Current Guarantor of Gorbachev's Reforms. September 1989 113
The Moscow Mass Media Calls Down Curses. September 1989 116
Watch the Soviet Working Class. October 1989 119
All-Out Dissension in the Soviet Union. December 1989 122
5 1990: The Battle Over the Empire 125
Religion Fills the USSR's Ideological Vacuum. January 1990 129
Gorbachev's Presidency: An Attempt to Maintain Order? March 1990 132
Soviets Indifferent to Foreign Affairs. May 1990 135
Not All Russians Want the Empire. May 1990 138
A Drama For Two Players: The Gorbachev-Yeltsin Confrontation, Act I. June 1990 141
Gorbachev's Brilliant and Bitter Victory. July 1990 145
Competence: A Soviet Resource in Short Supply. September 1990 149
Bumper Crop: An Unwelcome Gift in Russia. September 1990 153
Bread, Cake, and Flowers in Moscow. September 1990 158
Gorbachev's Gordian Knot. November 1990 161
A Drama For Two Players: The Gorbachev-Yeltsin Confrontation, Act II. November 1990 164
A Society Without Myths. December 1990 168
6 1991: The End of the Empire 171
The Gulf War and the Political Struggle in the USSR. March 1991 173
Yeltsin in a Different Perspective. March 1991 176
Gorbachev as Yeltsin's Best Friend. April 1991 179
The Continuing Duel Between Two Soviet Leaders. April 1991 182
The Difficult Decisions of President Gorbachev and King John: England, 1215 Revisited. May 1991 185
Russia Again at a Crossroads: Military Coup or Loose Confederation? June 1991 189
Focus on Human Rights in the Soviet National Republics. July 1991 192
Gorbachev: The World's Most Important Hostage. August 1991 194
The Most Bourgeois Revolution in History. August 1991 196
The End of the Coup Spells the End of the Empire. August 1991 199
Emperor Francis-Joseph: Ten Heads of State Are Not Viable. September 1991 202
Calendar of Events: 1985-1991 2
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