Cover image for Armageddon averted : the Soviet collapse, 1970-2000
Title:
Armageddon averted : the Soviet collapse, 1970-2000
Author:
Kotkin, Stephen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xvii, 245 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 20 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780192802453
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library DK274 .K635 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Stephen Kotkin charts the collapse of the Soviet Union, one of the key developments in recent history, and analyzes why it happened. He examines the internal structural, cultural and political reasons for the demise both of the Communist system and of the Union, drawing on memoirs anddocuments of the senior figures involved, including Ligachev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin, as well as on the burgeoning secondary literature. The book puts the Soviet collapse in the context of the global economic changes from the 1970s to the present day, examining why the advent of Siberian oil at atime of shortage elsewhere had profound and long-term effects on the Soviet Union's raison d'etre.


Author Notes

Stephen Mark Kotkin was born on February 17, 1959. He is a historian, academic and author. Kotkin graduated from the University of Rochester in 1981 with a B.A. in English. He studied Russian and Soviet history under Reginald E. Zelnik and Martin Malia at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his M.A. in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1988, both in history. Starting in 1986, Kotkin traveled to the former Soviet Union several times for academic research and fellowships. He was a visiting scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences (1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2012). He joined the faculty at Princeton University in 1989, and was the director of in Russian and Eurasian Studies Program for 13 years (1995-2008). He is currently the John P. Birkelund '52 Professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton. He is also a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Biography with his title Stalin - Vol. 1 : Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The director of Russian studies at Princeton and a published scholar in the field of Soviet studies, Kotkin has written a lively and provocative work on a subject that has already attracted much scholarly attention. His central question is, however, his own: why didn't Soviet elites defend their Union, using their vast military arsenal to bring about a cataclysmic super-Yugoslavia in the dying USSR? How could such a massive police state have died so quietly? He points in response to those same elites who, for over 30 years, constituted themselves as vast "loot chains," preferring to plunder their country of its wealth than risk losing everything in large-scale war. Through the medium of the Union republics, local elites led the charge for their own aggrandizement, thus "cashier[ing] the Union." As he delivers telling jabs, Kotkin spares no one neither Soviet politician-gangsters nor arrogant U.S. administrators and academics. This is a much more readable and lively monograph on the Soviet collapse than others, such as Michael McFaul's Russia's Unfinished Revolution (Cornell Univ., 2001), which has a more purely academic appeal. Kotkin's book should attract both the academic and the informed general reader. Robert Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ont. The director of Russian studies at Princeton and a published scholar in the field of Soviet studies, Kotkin has written a lively and provocative work on a subject that has already attracted much scholarly attention. His central question is, however, his own: why didn't Soviet elites defend their Union, using their vast military arsenal to bring about a cataclysmic super-Yugoslavia in the dying U.S.S.R.? How could such a massive police state have died so quietly? He points in response to those same elites who, for over 30 years, constituted themselves as vast "loot chains," preferring to plunder their country of its wealth than risk losing everything in large-scale war. Through the medium of the Union republics, local elites led the charge for their own aggrandizement, thus "cashier[ing] the Union." As he delivers telling jabs, Kotkin spares no one neither Soviet politician-gangsters nor arrogant U.S. administrators and academics. This is a much more readable and lively monograph on the Soviet collapse than others, such as Michael McFaul's Russia's Unfinished Revolution (Cornell Univ., 2001), which has a more purely academic appeal. Kotkin's book should attract both the academic and the informed general reader. Robert Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Preface to the paperback editionp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Note on the textp. xvi
List of platesp. xvii
List of mapsp. xix
Introductionp. 1
1 History's cruel tricksp. 10
2 Reviving the dreamp. 31
3 The drama of reformp. 58
4 Waiting for the end of the worldp. 86
5 Survival and cannibalism in the rust beltp. 113
6 Democracy without liberalism?p. 142
7 Idealism and treasonp. 171
Notesp. 197
Further readingp. 233
Indexp. 237

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