The Shadow of War: Russia and the USSR, 1941 to the present / Edition 1

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After enduring untold suffering and near total devastation, the Soviet Union emerged from the ashes of World War II as a superpower. Even now, the "Great Patriotic War" constitutes the country's single greatest source of national pride and identity - a defining moment in Russian history no less significant than the Revolution of 1917. Yet just as the overthrow of Tsarist autocracy is fraught with ambiguities, so too is the legacy of World War II. After liberating itself from Nazi occupation, the Soviet Union established imperial domination over much of east central Europe. But a victorious Soviet society was also poor, hungry, and - for all intents and purposes - still enslaved by the communist regime.

The Shadow of War: Russia and the USSR, 1941 to the Present offers a fresh approach to Soviet and Russian history. Taking the achievements, ambiguities, and legacies of World War II as a point of departure, the book reveals the strains on the Soviet system in the postwar decades as it distanced itself from Stalinist repression and reinvented itself as a form of illiberal modern welfare state. The author shows how tens of millions of people moved from villages to cities to reap the benefits of modern civilization, while Soviet society remained divided along class, regional, and ethnic lines - divisions that came into sharp focus with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Drawing on the latest research and a wide range of sources, The Shadow of War greatly enhances our understanding of Soviet and Russian history during a complex and controversial phase of world history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“But by re-arranging known phenomena his fascinating book offers new and consistent perspectives on the last Russian and Soviet decades. It is one of the best introductions to the focused period of time.” (Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 1 May 2013)

“With its capacity for engaging synthesis of the scholarly literature of the period and pioneering insight into historiographical commonplaces, Lovell’s elegantly formulated and delightfully illustrated history is an indisputable asset to any scholarly bookshelf.” (Slavonica, 1 May 2013)

“Lovell, in particular, has written an accomplished and stimulating book.” (European History Quarterly, 2012)

“There are different ways to write a survey of Russian history, and most of them have been tried many times. Yet Simon Dixon, the editor of this excellent three-volume series, has invited his authors to do something new.” (Slavonic and East European Review, 1 April 2012)

"Stephen Lovell's The Shadow of War is a work of a different kind: a textbook which should appeal also to a general readership. It is both a social and political history and provides an excellent synthesis of the Russian experience from the Second World War to the present." (History Today, 1 August 2011)

"Shadow of War is an astute topical approach to Soviet/Russian history from 1941 to the beginnings of the Medvedev presidency in 2008. Its clarity and first-rate scholarship make it exceptionally enlightening on major socioeconomic and national conditions and post-Soviet matters generally." (Michigan War Studies Review, November 2010)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405169585
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Series: Blackwell History of Russia Series , #2
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Lovell is a Reader in Modern European History at King’s College London. His previous books include The Russian Reading Revolution: Print Culture in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Eras (2000), Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710-2000 (2003), Destination in Doubt: Russia since 1989 (2006), and The Soviet Union: A Very Short Introduction (2009).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Series Editor's Preface viii

Acknowledgments xi

Maps xiii

1 Introduction: World War II and the Remaking of the Soviet Union 1

2 Reform, Reaction, Revolution 20

3 From Plan to Market 67

4 Structures of Society 109

5 Public and Private 138

6 Center and Periphery 176

7 National Questions 205

8 Geopolitical Imperatives 248

9 From Isolationism to Globalization 287

10 Conclusion: The Second Russian Revolution? 314

Notes 320

Guide to Further Reading 355

Index 361

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