Cover image for Democratization and revolution in the USSR, 1985-1991
Title:
Democratization and revolution in the USSR, 1985-1991
Author:
Hough, Jerry F., 1935-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution, [1997]

©1997
Physical Description:
xvi, 542 pages : 24 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1500 Lexile.
ISBN:
9780815737483

9780815737490
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library JN6500 .H68 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Democratization and Revolution in the USSR, 1985-91 presents a strikingly new view of the Gorbachev era and the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union. Written by one of America's most distinguished specialists on the former Soviet Union, this is the first comprehensive overview of the Gorbachev period and describes it as a real revolution, not mere "reform."

According to Hough, despite Mikhail Gorbachev's talk of a regulated market, he never understood that a market must be created on a solid institutional and legal base. He was determined to use democratization to free himself from party control, but he saw democracy as a way of achieving near- universal consensus, not a mechanism for forcing through difficult choices. The many memoirs that have become available in the last few years, including those of Gorbachev himself, show that Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov and the "bureaucrats" in his government actually were the serious economic reformers in the leadership. Gorbachev opposed the key transitional steps at every stage and was far closer to the assumptions of shock therapy than he or his opponents ever recognized.

Hough explains that Gorbachev was not alone in thinking that the destruction of old institutions was enough to unleash a market. Westerners also talked of leaping a chasm in a single jump as if democratic and market institutions existed pre-created on the other side. But, precisely because Gorbachev (and later Boris Yeltsin) was encouraged in all his worst mistakes by Western advice, his failure has crucial implications for Western thinking about the process of democratization and marketization. This unprecedented book explores those implications in depth.

Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Book for 1998


Summary

Democratization and Revolution in the USSR, 1985-91 presents a strikingly new view of the Gorbachev era and the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union. Written by one of America's most distinguished specialists on the former Soviet Union, this is the first comprehensive overview of the Gorbachev period and describes it as a real revolution, not mere "reform."

According to Hough, despite Mikhail Gorbachev's talk of a regulated market, he never understood that a market must be created on a solid institutional and legal base. He was determined to use democratization to free himself from party control, but he saw democracy as a way of achieving near- universal consensus, not a mechanism for forcing through difficult choices. The many memoirs that have become available in the last few years, including those of Gorbachev himself, show that Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov and the "bureaucrats" in his government actually were the serious economic reformers in the leadership. Gorbachev opposed the key transitional steps at every stage and was far closer to the assumptions of shock therapy than he or his opponents ever recognized.

Hough explains that Gorbachev was not alone in thinking that the destruction of old institutions was enough to unleash a market. Westerners also talked of leaping a chasm in a single jump as if democratic and market institutions existed pre-created on the other side. But, precisely because Gorbachev (and later Boris Yeltsin) was encouraged in all his worst mistakes by Western advice, his failure has crucial implications for Western thinking about the process of democratization and marketization. This unprecedented book explores those implications in depth.

Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Book for 1998


Author Notes

Jerry F. Hough is professor of political science and public policy at and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His books include Democratization and Revolution in the USSR, 1985-1991 (Brookings, 1997) and Russia


Jerry F. Hough is professor of political science and public policy at and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His books include Democratization and Revolution in the USSR, 1985-1991 (Brookings, 1997) and Russia


Reviews 2

Choice Review

An eminent American scholar of the Soviet Union provides one of the first comprehensive and in-depth analyses of the Gorbachev administration. Hough's reputation for originality, insight, and provocation is sustained in this book. He not only critiques much of the literature on the revolution of 1990-1991; he also revises some of his own earlier views. He is particularly critical of American policy toward Russia, believing that the pressure to pursue a rapid transformation toward a full market economy was more harmful than beneficial. Hough (Duke Univ. and a senior Brookings fellow) believes that China in the post-Mao period would have been a better model for change. An example of his flair for contentiousness is his assertion that Russian reform has done greater damage to Russia than collectivization did. Hough explains the 1990-1991 revolution in terms of elite theory, arguing that its immediate cause was the thinking and activity of those at the top of the political and economic hierarchy with little direct pressure from society. He also concludes that the pressures for democratization were the consequences of fundamental changes produced by modernization. Hough uses extensive sources, theoretical and empirical, official (primary) and secondary, and Russian and English. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections. J. L. Nogee; University of Houston


Choice Review

An eminent American scholar of the Soviet Union provides one of the first comprehensive and in-depth analyses of the Gorbachev administration. Hough's reputation for originality, insight, and provocation is sustained in this book. He not only critiques much of the literature on the revolution of 1990-1991; he also revises some of his own earlier views. He is particularly critical of American policy toward Russia, believing that the pressure to pursue a rapid transformation toward a full market economy was more harmful than beneficial. Hough (Duke Univ. and a senior Brookings fellow) believes that China in the post-Mao period would have been a better model for change. An example of his flair for contentiousness is his assertion that Russian reform has done greater damage to Russia than collectivization did. Hough explains the 1990-1991 revolution in terms of elite theory, arguing that its immediate cause was the thinking and activity of those at the top of the political and economic hierarchy with little direct pressure from society. He also concludes that the pressures for democratization were the consequences of fundamental changes produced by modernization. Hough uses extensive sources, theoretical and empirical, official (primary) and secondary, and Russian and English. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections. J. L. Nogee; University of Houston


Table of Contents

The Brookings Institutionp. v
Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 Prelude to Revolutionp. 23
Conclusionp. 58
Chapter 3 Gorbachev's Ascent and the Circular Flow of Powerp. 61
Chapter 4 the Tragedy of Economic Reformp. 103
Chapter 5 Democratization and the 1989 Ussr Electionp. 140
Chapter 6 Foreign and Domestic Policy and the Issue of Eastern Europep. 175
Conclusionp. 209
Chapter 7 Soviet Federalism and the Problem of Russiap. 214
Chapter 8 the End of Communist Party Rulep. 249
Chapter 9 the 1990 Russian Electionp. 278
Chapter 10 the Struggle Between Gorbachev and Yeltsinp. 315
Chapter 11 the Controversy Over Economic Reformp. 341
Chapter 12 the Union Treatyp. 373
Chapter 13 the Russian Presidential Election and the August Coup D'étatp. 404
Chapter 14 Economic Options and the Breakup of the Unionp. 449
Chapter 15 Conclusionp. 490
Indexp. 527
The Brookings Institutionp. v
Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 Prelude to Revolutionp. 23
Conclusionp. 58
Chapter 3 Gorbachev's Ascent and the Circular Flow of Powerp. 61
Chapter 4 the Tragedy of Economic Reformp. 103
Chapter 5 Democratization and the 1989 Ussr Electionp. 140
Chapter 6 Foreign and Domestic Policy and the Issue of Eastern Europep. 175
Conclusionp. 209
Chapter 7 Soviet Federalism and the Problem of Russiap. 214
Chapter 8 the End of Communist Party Rulep. 249
Chapter 9 the 1990 Russian Electionp. 278
Chapter 10 the Struggle Between Gorbachev and Yeltsinp. 315
Chapter 11 the Controversy Over Economic Reformp. 341
Chapter 12 the Union Treatyp. 373
Chapter 13 the Russian Presidential Election and the August Coup D'étatp. 404
Chapter 14 Economic Options and the Breakup of the Unionp. 449
Chapter 15 Conclusionp. 490
Indexp. 527

Google Preview