Russia in the Twentieth Century: The Quest for Stability

Russia in the Twentieth Century: The Quest for Stability

Russia in the Twentieth Century: The Quest for Stability

Russia in the Twentieth Century: The Quest for Stability

Synopsis

The history of Russia, as the natural successor to the Soviet Union, is of crucial importance to understanding why communism ultimately lost out to Western democracy and the free market system. David Marples presents a balanced overview of 20th century Russian history and shows that although contemporary Russia has retained many of the practices and memories of the Soviet period, it is not about to revert back to the Soviet example.

Excerpt

An earlier version of this work appeared under the title Motherland: Russia in the Twentieth Century in 2002. The current text has been heavily revised, and a number of sections and chapters have been added. This edition represents an attempt to explain the “long twentieth century” from 1894 to 2008, i.e., in terms of rulers, from the time of Nikolay (Nicholas) II to the end of the presidency of Vladimir Putin. It is intended for students at universities and sixth-form colleges, though it is hoped that general audiences will also find it easily comprehensible. The book is divided chronologically, and for the most part based on the time in office of state leaders – largely for convenience, but also because, for much of the period, direction came from the top in an increasingly centralized society. Also the leaders of the time always initiated some changes and imposed a particular stamp on a period. I have tried to give due attention to social and cultural trends and developments as well as to foreign and domestic policy. Key cultural figures are highlighted in mini-biographies because they are less well known than political and military leaders. The bibliography is divided into two sections: well-known works for each chapter, which are provided at the end of the book; and newer publications (2002–2009), which are listed immediately at the end of each chapter, along with questions for discussion.

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